Vision and policy
Capitalising on the
investment in knowledge
The highest principle for which ARN stands is that of contributing to a better environment and thus to a sustainable society. All the organization’s activities must be able to withstand an environmental test. After all, ARN was set up for an environ mental purpose: to process end-of-life vehicles in the Netherlands in an environmentally sound and efficient way.
Following the lead of the United Nations, ARN understands sustainable development to be development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For the present generation, this means that they must be economical in their use of fossil fuels, raw materials and the environment. And this can be directly translated into ARN’s core activity: recycling. This comprises recovering raw materials and avoiding the need for using primary raw materials in a production process.
Fed by the idea of a better living environment and the efficient, frugal use of raw materials, in a few years’ time sustainability will become an integrated part of policy in all sections of the mobility sector. ARN’s mission as a centre of expertise can be summed up as using innovation to promote recycling and care for the environment in the mobility sector.
Proceeding from its social responsibility, ARN interprets its legal responsibility in a broader way than is strictly necessary according to the letter of the law. ARN’s approach is based on the overall objective of the legislation – that of making an actual contribution to recycling and the environment. In line with this idea, ARN includes three aspects in its objective of achieving the legally required 95% recycling in 2015. In addition to achieve the highest possible recycling percentage, attention also focuses on the recycling costs and environmental impact, such as CO2 emissions.
The Ecotest is a model that calculates the environmental pressure in the waste chain and was developed by ARN and the FFact consultancy in 2010. It allows an even more precise assessment of the possible recycling steps for each individual material. This calculation model has been used in building the Post Shredder Technology (PST) facility in which shredder waste is processed into useable materials. The PST facility was set up to contribute towards achieving the recycling target for 2015. Continuous development of the technology is needed in order to be able to produce the purest materials possible that will generate higher returns because they are suitable for high-quality applications.
The Ecotest is a tool that supports policy choices in ecology (CO2 footprint, toxicity, etc.), recycling and economics. For example, the advent of electric vehicles is posing new challenges in the reuse and processing of materials. Using the model to calculate the various processes provides a good basis for choosing the most efficient and sustainable solutions.
Life-cycle of cars
ARN is trying to broaden and deepen its activities, enabling it to capitalize on the investment that it has made over the last fifteen years in accumulating knowledge and experience regarding the recycling of end-of-life vehicles. In addition to collecting and processing discarded cars, ARN is now offering its services for the environmentally sound collection and processing of waste produced during the life-cycle of the cars. It has developed the ARN Environmental Scan to help garages and damage repair companies do business in an sustainable way. The ARN Environmental Scan shows companies where they can save costs, such as by preventing waste or sorting it more effectively, for example.
The entire mobility chain
ARN is also expanding its services further to cover the entire mobility chain. As can be read elsewhere in this report, knowledge of recycling in the car sector is already being applied in the two-wheeled vehicle sector and in the building of super yachts. There is also interest in ARN’s expertise from abroad. ARN cannot finance its new activities from the waste disposal fee fund, which is exclusively intended for the environmentally sound, efficient processing of end-of-life vehicles. For that reason, the decision was made to set up four independent operating companies that operate in the market as businesses. The revenues from the operating companies flow back to the waste disposal fee fund. The long-term objective is to arrive at the lowest waste disposal fee possible. The new organization structure also ensures that the various forms of ARN activities are compartmentalized to avoid any form of forced sourcing.
Legislation and regulations
For ARN there remains a lot to be desired in the area of legislation and regulations. Differences in the interpretation of legislation by the European Union (eu) and local authorities result in differences between the member states regarding the processing of waste flows. Among other things, this leads to unnecessary flows of materials between member states because, for example, the cost of dumping waste is lower over the border. ARN is contributing to European and national consultancy bodies in order to arrive at harmonization and an unequivocal interpretation of legislation.
ARN expects that a level playing field in the eu for the dumping or incineration of shredder waste will strongly promote investment in recycling technology. It can finally lead to a self-supporting recycling chain for end-of-life vehicles. In anticipation of this necessary development, ARN is committing itself fully to implementing sorting and processing technology for shredder waste. The use of Post Shredder Technology is playing a catalysing role in this. The PST facility is evidence of this choice.
Cooperation with other recycling chains
Vehicles are not the only products for which problems have to be solved in the face of intensifying recycling. Once reuse and shredding of remains have taken place, it’s the individual properties of the materials involved that determine the search for solutions. This results in shared problems, such as what to do with plastic products and electronic components. The individual recycling chains for many products, and the technology applied in them, show many similarities. What sets them apart is largely the collection structure. It is therefore very likely that over the next ten years cooperation on the materials aspects of recycling will be achieved.
There is an apparent trend in industry that the waste phase of a product will rapidly become an integrated part of product development. Another trend, recycling will no longer be regarded as an expense but as part of a sustainable policy. For ARN, these developments mean more emphasis on regulating what happens in the waste chain and advising companies on the environmentally sound processing and reuse of waste. This obliges ARN to monitor technological developments closely in order to continue to accumulate knowledge and expertise in recycling. Being idle in this respect would undermine ARN’s raison d’être in the long term.