Friday, April 13, 2018

Truly Sustainable Logistics in the Port of Amsterdam Supply Chain

One Company Takes the Zero Emissions Target to a New Level
Shipping News Feature
NETHERLANDS – Everyone connected to the logistics industry is currently working to ensure that their supply chain is as environmentally friendly as possible but, rather than paying lip service to the aim of being truly carbon neutral, one manufacturing business operating in the Port of Amsterdam, seems to be capable of actually attaining just that.

The bluntly named Chocolate Makers company seems to be taking the target of zero emissions quite literally. This is a company which has grown from the ideals of two college friends who, in 2008, organised the first chocolate festival in Amsterdam to demonstrate just how real chocolate is produced. By 2012 the pair had constructed their first winnower to crack the cocoa beans they had imported via the sailing ship Tres Hombres from their Dominican Republic suppliers.

The company collected an award in 2014 as the most sustainable SME in Amsterdam and to ferry beans from the quay to the processing plant the company employs volunteers to shift the sacks of raw fair trade beans with a fleet of bikes, cargo bikes, wheelbarrows etc., any vehicle as long as it is emission free. Each bag delivered successfully along the near kilometre route rewards the carrier with a chocolate bar or a glass of rum.

Now the company is taking things to a new level by constructing a new factor within the port that will meet all its own energy needs via the transparent sunroof that tops the building. The facility will be completely ‘off the grid’ with all electrical requirements generated within the building. From here the company will aim to make the roasting of beans an entirely sustainable process. Construction of the new factory will be made using recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible and opening is scheduled for 2019.

Photo: A bevy of volunteers help offload the schooner Tres Hombres of her cargo of cocoa beans and (inset) an artist’s impression of the new facility.