Positive energy is for sharing

  30 June 2022  |    News

The summer edition of business magazine INTO business Haarlemmermeer-Schiphol features an interview with Arnoud van der Wijk of SADC and Danielle Hagers of Intralox, in which they talk about the power of collaboration and “a great example of crisis management,” according to Hagers. You can read the interview below.

The power of acting collectively

Entrepreneurship is often about having guts. The guts as a company or an entrepreneur to look beyond your own interests and opt for the power of acting collectively. To approach the opportunities together, finding the solutions that are available when nothing is taken for granted. The success of this approach can be seen at Schiphol Trade Park. Area developer SADC set up an energy collective there, and newcomer Intralox is happy to be taking part. Arnoud van der Wijk, project manager at SADC, and Danielle Hagers, facility manager at Intralox, explain.

“We had already started planning for a Smart Grid at Schiphol Trade Park in early 2020,” begins Van der Wijk. “But developing a solution to the energy issue gained momentum when we shot from code yellow to orange to red in a single month, due to supply problems at the Hoofddorp substation [the electrical installation in the high-voltage grid that connects two or more high-voltage grids or forms a connection point to the high-voltage grid – ed.]. And then it’s no use pointing fingers at each other. You need to be resourceful and, above all, work together. I admire the guts shown by the companies and by grid operator Liander in joining forces and thinking along with us.”

“A bit of a shock”

“We chose Schiphol Trade Park for our new building, which we hope to open in October 2023, for several reasons,” Hagers says. “Firstly, because of the excellent accessibility. Many of our people come to work by public transport so the location near the railway station is great. And of course, it’s near Schiphol Airport and the various motorways, which is crucial for our business. Our company makes sustainable conveyor systems, and some 400 people will work at our new European headquarters. A wide range of industries use our services, such as the automotive industry, packaging, and food and beverage industries.

“We are a true family business with core values of innovation and sustainability. These align seamlessly with those of Schiphol Trade Park and the companies located there. We are always developing, improving and delivering solutions that drive sustainable growth among our customers worldwide. And if you want to grow, you need energy. When it turned out that the energy supply might become a problem for our premises it was, of course, a bit of a shock. Obviously we have our own individual facilities for generating energy, such as the 4,200 solar panels on our roof. We could have chosen to use these and not join the energy collective. But that would have added extra costs and is also not sustainable. And we would be ignoring our own core values, which can surely never be the intention. We are extremely happy with this creative, collective solution.”

Problem solving

“This experience has taught us that coming up with smart solutions for the energy transition together is something that can be done,” Van der Wijk continues. “We have solved the congestion issues with the electricity grid by coordinating the entry and exit points, thus making optimal use of capacity. With our advanced metering techniques, we know to the second what energy is consumed where and what is ‘left over’ for other users. Congestion is a problem because the grid operator has to guarantee that there is always power for businesses. By taking responsibility collectively, the grid becomes ‘smarter’ and more efficient. This solution can be applied at other business parks, such as at De President in Hoofddorp, where this issue surely also comes up. The crucial factor is a willingness to cooperate – and we hope our example can inspire others.”

Hagers concludes by saying: “Nobody benefits from standing still. That this momentum has been seized to implement social and sustainable innovation is a great example of crisis management, as far as we are concerned. The future has to start somewhere, and the fact that Intralox is part of the solution at Schiphol Trade Park feels really good!”