We at hasenkamp have been working for generations on enhancing the sustainability of the services we offer. Throughout the entire spectrum of our services, whether it's the storage, the packaging or the transportation of art and cultural items, this engagement is reflected in concrete measures.
As early as 2010, hasenkamp committed itself to active environmental and energy management in the framework of ISO 14001 and 50001. We established concrete environmental goals, such as the continuous reduction of our energy usage and of the volume of waste we produced, and for many years we have been successfully implementing these goals - as confirmed externally by DEKRA.
The certifications DIN EN 15946:2011 "Preservation of cultural heritage - Packaging methods for transport" and DIN EN 16648:2015 "Preservation of cultural heritage - Transport methods" underline our commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly processes.
Currently we are working on further reducing the emissions from our services. Last year, an internal team of experts, along with external advisors from DEKRA, started recording and analyzing the emissions from our services. In addition, we pushed ahead with a series of innovations and optimization projects.
We strongly believe that every single employee directly influences the sustainability of our services. This is why we issue our sustainability newsletter, keeping you regularly informed about innovations, transitions and other information concerning the sustainability of our company.
Storing art and cultural assets poses specific challenges, addressing which, ordinarily, requires high energy usage. To counteract that, hasenkamp has pioneered the development of a new storage concept, and, since 2008, has been the first art logistics company operating emission-free, environmentally protective art warehouses.
Among the things that make the new warehouses different is, first of all, their construction method, which resembles the "passive house" standard. The well-insulated, 45 cm thick wall and ceiling panels render the building inert in the face of external climate fluctuations. This reduces the amount of energy needed to air-condition the warehouse. In addition, we source all the energy we need for heating and air-conditioning the warehouse from geothermal energy.
The building only needs 55% as much energy as that of a comparable reference building, according to Germany's regulation on energy efficiency, and meets the ambitious "55" standard on the development bank KFW's scale of building efficiency.
Hence, at this point, indirect CO2 emission resulting from energy usage is the only remaining environmentally-relevant element. To reduce these emissions too, hasenkamp installed a photovoltaic system in a pilot location on the roof of a building last year, with a view to covering energy needs through green energy. The installed photovoltaic system produces more energy than the entire building requires. That means the pilot location is now considered a "plus energy" facility.
However, it would not make sense to renew the existing buildings of our extensive warehouse network all at once. It only makes ecological sense to reconstruct a warehouse when its lifespan ends, because the optimization that can be achieved does not outweigh the emissions involved in a new construction project.
For the storage and transportation of artistic and cultural assets, specially designed packaging is needed. The specific object essentially determines the method of packaging. In order to make this as sustainable as possible, we take into account not only the materials used, but also their (re-)use.
For more than 45 years, hasenkamp has been offering high-quality, reusable, climate-controlled crates for rent, and as early as 20 years ago we pioneered the development of the vario crate. This, too, is a rentable climate-controlled crate - one which has an individually adjustable, variable inner frame, and which holds objects of various sizes securely in place without the need for additional padding material. Currently, we have more than 1,000 rentable crates in all kinds of different sizes. After each use, the crates are subjected to an exhaustive inspection and are reconditioned if necessary. In this way, we minimize the use of resources needed to ensure a high-quality packaging solution, and, since 2008, we have not needed to manufacture any new rentable climate-controlled crates. Thanks to the continuous re-use of our rentable climate-controlled crates, we protect more than 200 trees each year.
All hasenkamp's packaging solutions are manufactured in our in-house production facility on the site of our headquarters in Frechen. This ensures us short and efficient transportation channels; even Europe-wide, thanks to our extensive network.
In procuring wood, we ensure that the transportation routes are short: 8% of the wood comes from within Germany, and 83.8% from within Europe. The efficient use of the wood is maximized by deploying a cut optimization software. This involves a cutting plan being devised on the basis of an algorithm, minimizing the volume of unusable cut pieces.
Moreover, we coat our crates with an environmentally friendly, water-based lacquer. When disposing of production waste, hasenkamp pays heeds not only to professional standards, but also, as much as possible, to closed material cycles. For example, cutoffs from the foam material used for cushioning the crate are collected, returned to the supplier, and recycled. To guarantee the high (functional) quality of our packaging solutions, it is necessary to use additional materials such as crate seals and fittings.
To enhance the efficiency with which we deploy materials, we are constantly scrutinizing and optimizing the production processes and the materials used. One example is the reuse of materials: Whenever possible, crate fittings and insulating materials are removed from crates that were used for a short time, and are reused for new crates. Another example of this optimization process is the use of continuously self-righting crate seals. Since these are not destroyed from the pressure of the crate, they can usually be used, without harm, throughout the entire product lifespan of a crate.
Further innovations that affect the sustainability and functionality of our packaging solutions are being advanced in our in-house research and development department. It particularly merits mention that we are currently (re)developing our vario crate into the FLXSM, with an eye to ecological considerations and modified customer requirements. Through a new manufacturing process and the use of light construction wood, the crate's weight can be reduced by more than 50%. The reduction in weight also lowers the transportation emissions, since these correlate with the weight of what is being transported. 98% of the materials used are recyclable; add-on components such as the crate handles are reused. In this way, no waste ends up in a landfill. To be informed regularly about the FLXSM transportation crate, you are welcome to subscribe to our newsletter.
To make the transportation of art and cultural assets as sustainable as possible, hasenkamp is constantly investing in its fleet and optimizing its (operative) processes.
Our fleet consists of modern vehicles fitted out with fuel-economizing technologies. The constant renovation of our vehicles has the advantage of lowering the emission volumes of air pollutants. These are steadily being lowered, in keeping with the Euro-norm. 57% of our vehicles conform to the most modern Euro-6 norm, while the other 43% conform to the Euro-5 norm. In order to make even more savings, we are currently testing an electronic vehicle.
Another thing that determines the sustainability of our fleet usage is the efficiency with which we deploy the vehicles. This, too, is being heightened at hasenkamp through our network, transportation planning, and optimization of driving behavior. Our extensive network enables us to reach almost every region that is relevant to our business with the minimal number of empty kilometers on the way there.
Moreover, our dispatchers are supported by a dispatching tool that is based on artificial intelligence. The tool analyzes the empty kilometers that are likely to occur in the planned assignment, and minimizes these.
In addition, our drivers are supported by a telematics system during transportation. This has access to current traffic information, and uses this to calculate the most ecologically sensible route. The system also analyzes the driving behavior in real time, and gives the driver immediate feedback on improving driving behavior.
In addition, our drivers are regularly trained in fuel-economizing driving behavior. This engagement is reflected in, among other things, our average fuel consumption rates: Both our trucks and our sprinters are below the industry average.
Another approach to increasing the sustainability of our transportation is to increase the vehicle capacity usage rate. To achieve this, we combine - subject to client approval - the shipments of different customers that are going in the same general direction, to create a combination that is transported collectively for a large portion of the transportation route.
On top of that, we also recommend alternative modes of transportation to our clients, depending on the object to be transported. In particular, train and maritime shipping are suitable from a purely ecological perspective.