Sustainability at Boskalis goes beyond managing our business and projects in a responsible manner. We seek to leverage our ability to influence and innovate, to create added social, environmental and economic value where we can. These cases illustrate our approach in action.

Overview sustainability cases

Port XL: sustainable innovation

For the last five years, Boskalis has partnered with PortXL, a Dutch organization scouting and selecting innovative new companies that can serve the needs of the global maritime industry, bringing external innovation inside the company. In 2020, as a result of this partnership, we were able to implement a Remote Assistance device using Augmented Reality technology, which allows employees to effectively collaborate from different locations by adding a device to helmets or bump caps to record the perspective of a colleague working on location. The device broadcasts its images to experts that offer their assistance remotely by leaving notes and comments that the local colleague can see on their device. Complex challenges used to involve an engineer being flown to the location, with associated cost, time loss and carbon emission. COVID-19 restrictions increased the urgency to change our ways of working, but this solution has proved so successful it is being scaled up across the company. As well as 24 of our dredging vessels, Remote Assistance has also been implemented on several individual projects, departments and offshore vessels. During the pandemic, the device saved many days in mandatory quarantine. Two other innovations to emerge from our involvement with PORTXL in 2019 – monitoring with satellite observations and monitoring devices for soil settlements, have proven their value and are being integrated into our commercial offerings. More about Sustainability Cases Sustainability at Boskalis goes beyond managing our business and projects in a responsible manner. Take a look at our cases which illustrate our approach in action. Read more Sustainability report Since 2009, Boskalis has published an annual sustainability report, providing stakeholders with an overview of our sustainability strategy and performance. Have a look at our recent report. Read more

Lees meer

Griend nature preservation project

Boskalis teamed up with the Dutch Society for the Preservation of Nature (Natuurmonumenten) to protect the uninhabited island of Griend in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The island provides a vital habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory and breeding birds. However, due to erosion this bird paradise was at risk of being washed away. Challenge Natuurmonumenten awarded Boskalis this project mainly because of all the measures it proposed to minimize any disruption of nature. The work continued day and night, with Boskalis using green light on the island at night to protect nature. In order not to disturb the migratory birds, the project started after the nesting season and was suspended during the spring tides. Solution Boskalis used sand extracted during the maintenance of shipping channels to create a 400-meter wide foreshore that will protect Griend from erosion in the decades to come. The island’s natural protection consists of a barrier of shells, plant debris and sand with a salt marsh on the lee side. The new shore includes shellfish banks, consistent with the natural situation on Griend. To make Griend more appealing for nesting birds, the topsoil was removed in some parts of the island. Terns and common terns have a preference for barren and sparsely vegetated locations and the higher parts of Griend were very much overrun with vegetation. Boskalis used the topsoil that was removed for the new shore. In addition, a small opening was created in the dike on the northern side, allowing the seawater to flow into the salt marsh at high tide and deposit clay, thus naturally raising the level of the salt marsh. Project impression Deel dit Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google+ E-mail Print

Lees meer

Contributing to the circular economy

In 2016 Boskalis and HVC, the largest non-commercial waste collection company in the Netherlands, opened the world’s first bottom ash washing plant. The plant recycles incinerator bottom ash, a by-product of the incineration of household waste in waste-to-energy plants. Challenge The Netherlands has twelve waste-to-energy plants and they produce approximately two million tons of bottom ash annually. For many years this contaminated bottom ash could only be used as a building material in the Netherlands if stringent conditions were met, with the material having to be sealed in sheeting to prevent pollutants leaking into the environment. However, the use of incinerator bottom ash required such an intensive and expensive management program by the Dutch government that it will be banned. Solution Boskalis Environmental developed its own patented separation and flushing technology and offers a unique sustainable method of cleaning incinerator bottom ash. Once processed, almost all of the bottom ash is suitable for re-use as a raw material, allowing Boskalis to contribute to the circular economy. The mineral fraction, consisting of sand and granulate, will be used as a freely applicable building material in Boskalis’ civil engineering works while the valuable and rare metals can be marketed as commodities by the waste-to-energy plants. Haico Wevers, director of Boskalis Environmental At the beginning of 2017 Boskalis announced, together with Inashco, that it will process all bottom ash produced by Attero’s waste-to-energy plants in the Netherlands for a period of ten years. A new state-of-the-art plant at Nauerna in the Port of Amsterdam area will process the bottom ash. More about CSR Biodiversity and ecosystems It is our aim to lead the industry in developing nature-based solutions to protect and enhance coastal ecosystems. We see partnerships and collaboration as the backbone of our approach to help achieve this ambition. Read more Climate change Climate change and its consequences are increasingly urgent topics for society and our sector to address. Read more CSR report 2019 Boskalis has been reporting on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, performance and results in a separate annual report since 2009. Read more Also of interest Press release Boskalis joint venture verkrijgt contract voor verwerking bodemassen van Attero Papendrecht, 2 februari 2017 Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) gaat samen met Inashco alle bodemassen van Attero verwerken voor een periode van 10 jaar. De opdracht is toegekend aan ACCN (Ash Cleaning Company Netherlands), een deelneming waarin Boskalis Environmental en Inashco elk a View more Deel dit Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google+ E-mail Print

Lees meer

Calling a halt to coastal erosion

Boskalis, as one of the partners in the EcoShape consortium, has embarked on a five-year Building with Nature project to halt coastal erosion in Central Java. Through a unique integration of mangrove restoration, small-scale engineering and sustainable land use the project is expected to turn the tide. Challenge With some 70,000 residents in the Demak district in Indonesia, urgent action was needed as the coastline has been retreating at an alarming rate, with the sea already having taken more than three kilometers of land in some places. Mangrove forests that can help dampen waves and stabilize sediment have been chopped down for aquaculture development. There is also significant subsidence as a result of the extraction of fresh water, making the impact of rising sea levels even worse. Solution Inspired by how the Netherlands used to reclaim land centuries ago by constructing permeable dams made from willows a similar approach is used in Java. Villagers hammer bamboo poles at least two meters into the seabed and use bundles of brushwood from the shore, binding them together to form dams of about 100 meters long. The dams dampen the waves and take the energy out of the water, while the sediment can still filter through and accumulate and settle behind the dams. In just one year, the level of the bed can rise by up to 50 centimeters. However, it is not enough to provide a technical solution in Demak; there are many ecological and socio-economic issues to be addressed through the program. With the help of Wetlands International and Blue Forests as well as local and national government agencies Coastal Field Schools have been set up to train villagers so that they can identify and develop successful aquaculture practices and care for the mangroves they depend on for coastal safety and water purification. Looking at the equator, a similar approach could be taken in countries with comparable vulnerable coastlines such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, as well as countries in Africa and Central America. It is a low-tech solution but requires high-tech knowledge and expertise. In many locations it is not ecologically and economically feasible to implement hard infrastructure solutions, such as dams or dikes. Instead, this approach is cost-effective and brings multiple benefits to various stakeholders by restoring ecosystem services along muddy coasts across the tropics. Social engineering consistent with Boskalis tradition We want to approach the social impact of our projects in a decent and responsible way, taking into account the international rules Read more in this interview with CEO Berdowski More about CSR Building with Nature Boskalis proactively developed Building with Nature to gain insight into the impact of hydraulic engineering projects on ecosystems. Read more Local community and development Engaging with and managing our impact on local communities is an increasingly important part of our work. Read more CSR report 2019 Boskalis has been reporting on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, performance and results in a separate annual report since 2009. Read more Leer meer Corporate social responsibility Asia Coastal defense Building with Nature Deel dit Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google+ E-mail Print

Lees meer

Marker Wadden

In March 2016, Boskalis started work on the first stage of one of the largest nature restoration projects in western Europe - Marker Wadden. The project will transform the ecologically impoverished Markermeer lake into a dynamic area rich in animal and plant life, through the creation of nature islands using sand, clay and fine sediment. Building with Nature techniques play a key role in the project. Challenge The challenge is to rebalance the ecology of the Markermeer and to develop a sustainable future for the lake by developing a high-quality nature area. The lake was created in 1976 when the Houtrib dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad was completed. The dike had a major impact on the underwater environment of the lake. Fine sediment that was previously carried away by the current to Lake IJsselmeer fell to the bottom of Lake Markermeer where it settled like a blanket, making the water of the lake turbid. As a result fish and bird populations declined dramatically over the last decades. Solution One innovation being introduced into the project is building with fine sediment, under the innovative Building with Nature research program initiated by Boskalis (see link below). Fine sediment is too soft to build an island. This will be resolved by building ring dikes of sand to contain the sediment. The Marker Wadden project is a Building with Nature project par excellence. The landscape and the ecology have been given top priority from the very start. Together with the client, the Dutch Society for the Preservation of Nature (Natuurmonumenten) we developed a project approach, that was based on the question of what provisions were needed to create a healthy habitat for plants and wildlife. Once that had been established it was then up to us, in our role of hydraulic engineer, to realize the plans. The interaction between the various parties to coordinate the wishes and practical possibilities culminated in this groundbreaking design. Hendrik Postma, Director, Boskalis Nederland   Stage 1 of this project involves the creation of the first large island, and a marshland with vegetation, shallow ponds, creeks and channels. Boskalis will construct a new area of around 300 hectares, both above and below the waterline. To protect it from storms we will construct beaches, sand banks and low dunes, linked by a rock dam. We will provide for gradual transitions from land to water, as well as creating various levels under water. This will allow the sediment to settle in shallow areas and creeks, thus creating a natural water purification system. In addition, a special trench will be constructed to collect the fine sediment from Lake Markermeer. This ‘sediment trap’ will make the turbid water clear again. The captured sediment will be used to construct more islands in the future. Construction of Marker Wadden Building with Nature par excellence The Marker Wadden is one of the largest nature restoration projects in Western Europe. In our Creating New HORIZONS magazine we explain how this project will transform the ecologically impoverished Markermeer lake into a flourishing area. Lees meer Video impression Watch the video about this remarkable project that will transform the map of the Netherlands. More about CSR Building with Nature Boskalis proactively developed Building with Nature to gain insight into the impact of hydraulic engineering projects on ecosystems. Read more Climate change Climate change and its consequences are increasingly urgent topics for society and our sector to address. Read more CSR report 2019 Boskalis has been reporting on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, performance and results in a separate annual report since 2009. Read more Also of interest Project Construction of Marker Wadden Boskalis has been awarded the first phase of the Marker Wadden development in the Netherlands. The project includes the construction of an island with underwater landscaping. The Marker Wadden are natural islands that will be developed in the Markermeer lake in the years to come. They will provide a View more Press release Boskalis legt Marker Wadden aan Papendrecht, 14 september 2015 Opdrachtgever Rijkswaterstaat heeft de aanleg van de eerste fase van de Marker Wadden gegund aan Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster N.V. Het project bestaat uit de realisatie van een eerste eiland met daaromheen een onderwaterlandschap. Met dit project is een aanneemsom View more Deel dit Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google+ E-mail Print

Lees meer

3D printed reefs

Boskalis will create and install six artificial reef modules at the Larvotto reserve in Monaco in 2016, as part of a 3D reef pilot project with Prince Albert II of Monaco’s foundation and the Monaco Larvotto Reserve. The reefs, consisting of sand, will be constructed using a 3D printer. They will be used to improve the ecology and the quality of the seawater at the reserve.  Challenge The pilot project is being supervised by an international team of marine scientists who have researched topics including the foundations and reef geometry best suited to the development of marine life in the Larvotto reserve. All characteristics are to be incorporated into a single 3D design. Boskalis is coordinating the design and production, and will also be responsible for transporting the reefs to Monaco and installing them. The installation will be followed by extensive monitoring in order to compare the ecological development of the printed units with more traditional artificial reef units within the reserve. All parties involved view this as a unique opportunity to contribute to a new vision on artificial reef development. If the pilot is successful, it could make an important contribution to boosting biodiversity and building or restoring ecosystems around the world. Solution Dolomite sand in combination with a marine-safe binding agent will be used to make the artificial reef units. Six reef units will be printed in Italy, using a D-Shape printer. Each unit will have an outer dimension of 2 meters in diameter and 1 meter in height, and at a glance resembles a mushroom. Each unit will weigh approximately 2.5 tons when dry. The reef units will then be transported by truck from Italy to the loading port, Port Hercules in Monaco, and installed by a professional dive team, well experienced in artificial reef installation at the Larvotto Reserve. The dive team will buoy the units, which are resting in their steel transport cage, using balloons. Then the units will be towed by boat to their final locations, where the balloons will be deflated to lower the units gently to the seabed. Once safely placed, a team of divers will remove the protective transport cages. Highlight At Boskalis, we are always looking for ways to embed our commitment to sustainability into the concrete projects we implement around the world. This starts with our employees, who develop innovative ideas on a daily basis. We recently set out to spread the word internally about our sustainability initiatives and gather employee feedback on how we make CSR-related decisions. Read more in our CSR report More about CSR Building with Nature Boskalis proactively developed Building with Nature to gain insight into the impact of hydraulic engineering projects on ecosystems. Read more Large scale transplant of coral Boskalis worked with specialist teams to move 150,000 individual pieces of coral in Jamaica. Read more Climate change Climate change and its consequences are increasingly urgent topics for society and our sector to address. Read more CSR report 2019 Boskalis has been reporting on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, performance and results in a separate annual report since 2009. Read more Deel dit Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google+ E-mail Print

Lees meer
Back to top