Our sustainability commitment
At Riwal, we consider sustainability one of our spearheads. Our products and services are used in numerous sectors, including construction, installation engineering, maintenance, industry and logistics. We therefore see an important role for Riwal in the transition to a climate-neutral and healthy living environment. We are committed to the health of people and the enhancement of the natural environment.
EcoVadis rates companies on their sustainability performance by looking at their efforts within these topics: environment, labour, business ethics and sustainable procurement. Currently we hold an EcoVadis Gold medal (2023), which puts us in the top 5% of assessed companies. We want to prove our commitment to our sustainability goals and aspire to reach a Ecovadis Platinum level by 2025.
EcoVadis Gold Level
Riwal’s five sustainability focus areas
Riwal has formulated five focus areas, with associated targets for 2030. We have included these core themes in our Lifting Sustainability programme.
Our sustainable development objectives are based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the OECD’s Corporate Governance Guidelines.
Some of these objectives focus on sustainable operations within our own organisation. ‘Having our own house in order’, we call it. The other objectives deal with developments that increasingly make sustainability part of our industry. We think it is important to play a pioneering role in this.
By focusing on these five core themes, we can make a major contribution to making powered access more sustainable and distinguish ourselves in the market as a sustainable knowledge partner.
Focus area 1: CO2 emissions from our activities
By 2030, we aim to reduce emissions from our equipment by 30% compared to 2020. In doing so, we help our customers comply with increasingly stringent laws and regulations and meet their own sustainability targets. Electrifying our fleet is therefore a top priority. By the end of 2022, 65% of our fleet in Europe was already electrically powered and we aim for 90% by 2030. Not only is our rental fleet mainly being expanded with fully electric aerial work platforms, but diesel-powered aerial work platforms are also being converted by our own technical specialists.
Not all projects currently have electric aerial work platforms on the market. Part of our fleet therefore still consists of fuel-powered machines. In several countries, among others the Netherlands and Sweden, diesel was replaced by (HVO100) biofuel, and other countries are investigating the possibility. Biodiesel is 100% derived from residual streams and, compared to regular B7 diesel, reduces CO2 emissions by 90% and significantly reduces NOx, particulates and sulphur emissions.
CO2 reduction is not only achieved through smart modifications to our rental fleet. There are also environmental gains to be made in the field of transport. Because the more efficiently we organise our transport, the fewer kilometres our trucks have to drive. And because new models emit less and less harmful substances, we continuously modernise our fleet of trucks and service vans.
Focus area 2: Renting versus buying
Renting machines is a sustainable and efficient way of using equipment. Research has shown that overall CO2 emissions can be halved by renting rather than buying machinery. However, while renting is a more sustainable option in most cases, it is not always the best choice. It is always important to weigh up the pros and cons and determine the specific carbon footprint for both buying and renting. Needless to say, we are happy to help our customers make the right choice.
Focus area 3: Circular use of materials
By working according to circular principles, we reduce our need for primary raw materials and allow raw materials to circulate in cycles. Several initiatives have been developed within Riwal for the reuse of raw materials. For example, in several countries where we operate, investments have been made in a smart wastewater system for our machine washing lines, reducing water consumption by up to 67%. Oil consumption has also been addressed. At Riwal France, about 90% of its used oil is recycled into new oil, while the remaining 10% is used for energy generation.
In 2022, 73% of our waste was recycled and our goal is to have 90% of waste recycled by 2030. By gradually increasing the share of renewable and recycled raw materials and reducing the share of primary raw materials, Riwal aims to reduce the environmental impact created by the use of raw materials and materials.
Focus area 4: A sustainable work environment
Naturally, at Riwal we work as energy-efficiently as possible and the standard saving measures have been in place for some time, from LED lighting and waste separation to the paperless office. But a sustainable working environment also involves other things.
We believe that a sustainable working environment also includes a diversity policy, with our workforce reflecting society. In a predominantly male industry, we are well under way of building a 25% female workforce by 2025.
We attach great value to healthy and happy employees. This is not only important for us and for business continuity, it also benefits our employees themselves. After all, good health is a great asset.
Through our Vitality programme, we work on healthy, fit and happy employees. The range is broad: from sports events, healthy food at work, health and workplace checks and job coaching to counselling in case of illness. Of course everyone wants to stay healthy and make work more enjoyable. Riwal helps employees do just that.
Our goals for 2030
Electric machines in fleet
Focus area 5: Community involvement
Not only do we feel responsible for our own people and the environment, we also care for our neighbours: the communities around our offices and depots. Our community involvement focuses around several initiatives, particularly sponsorships and charities, and our annual Sustainability Week.
Sponsorships and charities
Sustainable relationships with employees, customers and suppliers matter to us, just as making a positive contribution to society. That is why we have engaged in various partnerships in among others the healthcare, sports and cultural sectors and support numerous charities.
Although these days we operate all across Europe – and beyond, our roots are in the Netherlands. In Dordrecht, to be precise. So we feel very involved in the Dordrecht community. We underline this by supporting local organisations and associations, from soccer club FC Dordrecht and the CPR Foundation (Stichting Reanimatie Drechtsteden) to popular local music festivals such as Wantijpop and Big Rivers. Since 2019, we have also been the proud main sponsor and namesake of the Riwal Hoogwerkers Halve Marathon.
During the first phase of the corona pandemic in 2020, Riwal made aerial work platforms and operators available at various locations in several countries, so residents of nursing and care homes could see and speak to their relatives remotely while they were in lockdown and unable to receive visitors.
Every year, our Head Office and our Dutch branch pay extra attention to sustainability during our joint Sustainability Week, with activities that focus on the health and well-being of our employees as well as on the local community and on the natural environment. For example by picking up litter around our offices and depots, organising a Bike to Work Day and by donating to nature conservation projects.