Balancing on a green rope: sustainability at Wagenborg Nedlift

Balancing on a green rope: sustainability at Wagenborg Nedlift

Large equipment, horizontal, vertical and heavy transport are typical for the work of Wagenborg Nedlift. This seems to contradict the ever increasing focus on being sustainable. oBut is this true? But is this true? Johan Dorgelo, Commercial Director, explains.

This article was previously published in Times, Royal Wagenborg's company magazine.

Liveable planet

At first glance, sustainability and heavy transport seem to be at odds. But a common thread runs through all Wagenborg Nedlift's activities. Firstly, out of an intrinsic motivation to keep our planet liveable for future generations. And secondly, because we have to comply with laws and regulations, including where we work.


"Think of construction sites without noise and odour pollution for local residents. Or inner cities with zero-emission policies," explains Dorgelo. "It is all about green (construction) services with as little impact as possible on people and the environment. Sustainability has therefore become an important strategic factor."

Johan Dorgelo
Johan Dorgelo

Challenging sustainability objective

Wagenborg Nedlift's sustainability strategy includes specific targets. These targets have been set up to the year 2050. One of the most important objectives is the reduction of CO2 emissions. "We want to significantly reduce the emissions of our crane and vehicle fleet in the Netherlands and in Europe. And yes, it is quite a challenge," confirms Dorgelo.

Greening the fleet

"Wagenborg Nedlift's goal is to always meet the highest sustainability standards currently achievable," continues the Commercial Director. "In recent years, our priority has therefore been to rejuvenate and green the fleet. For example, together with Liebherr, we have drawn up a rejuvenation plan for our fleet. Older mobile (tower) cranes will be replaced by 25 new Liebherr machines between 2021 and 2025."


Liebherr's cranes feature ECOdrive and ECOmode technology as standard. This reduces fuel consumption and noise during driving and lifting operations. In addition, these engines are extremely suitable for HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel. HVO is a synthetic biodiesel made from used cooking oil. This fuel achieves an 87% saving in CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuel.

Extra steps

Dorgelo: " At Wagenborg Nedlift we are always looking for a balance between sustainability and economic feasibility. This means that the choice is not always to buy new equipment. For example, we recently opted for a major overhaul of our Sennebogen crawler cranes, where the machines were fitted with Euro 6 engines. As a result, they can now run on HVO fuel. And we have bought power packs for the knuckle boom cranes so that they can now be used fully electrically in rural areas."



Fully electric

The demands on urban projects are increasing. However, the working environment often does not yet meet all the requirements for fully electric lifting. But there is a practical solution. When the power supply on site is not sufficient, the new battery trailer comes into play. With this huge power pack, the cranes can run fully electric for 8 hours, cleanly and quietly.

Focused on the future

"When deciding on whether to invest in new or upgraded equipment, we always take a long-term view. The cranes in our fleet will still be meeting today's requirements in 15 years' time. We use a 12-year horizon for our trailers and semi-trailers, and an eight-year horizon for our trucks.


"Sometimes sustainable choices made at an earlier stage in the chain also have a positive impact on the business. Steel products are increasingly produced in a sustainable way. As a result, the entire cycle from the production of a crane to its recycling at the end of its lifetime has become more sustainable. This also improves the sustainability of the entire machine", says Dorgelo.

What are the benefits?

"In our work, we often have to deal with environmental zones and the associated requirements," says Dorgelo. "For example, we regularly work at the Maasvlakte 2 port area (near Rotterdam, NL), where only vehicles with Euro 6 engines are permitted. Now that we have, among other things, the latest Liebherr mobile cranes in the 500 and 700 tonne range, this is no longer a limitation for us: our project resources and equipment can be deployed anywhere".

"Sustainable investment policy pays off for people, the environment and continuity."


Johan Dorgelo, Commercial Director Wagenborg Nedlift

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