Van der Wal earns 4th Lean & Green star

29 February 2024

Van der Wal earns 4th Lean & Green star

Reading time: 6 minutes
Update: 29-02-2024

In this post

  1. Interview with Henk van der Wal and Bart Wijgers
  2. Press release "Van der Wal receives 4th L&G star"
  3. Background on participation in Lean & Green

Interview: "Clean data is a prerequisite for sustainable transport" 

We asked owner Henk van der Wal and data specialist Bart Wijgers about the approach: What were the challenges? And what tips do they have? You can read that and more here.

What was the biggest challenge in achieving the 4th Star?

Henk van der Wal kicks off: "The Star makes sustainability efforts concrete in a few figures. But in achieving this Star, we were confronted with challenges and the fact there was a lot of contaminated and missing data in the original dataset. Therefore, we spent quite some time with a project group on a crazy clean-up project."

Data specialist Bart Wijgers is one of the members who spent many hours working on this project. Bart adds: "It was a challenging project because every cargo has a different piece of CO2 emissions. Also, you have a certain calculation standard based on how many kilograms you drag from A to B."

"What is the CO2 emission per loading meter/kilometre?"


Can you cite examples of incorrect data? 

Henk responds: "Just think of the impact of missing postcodes on accurately calculating the CO2 emissions per loading meter/kilometre. One figure wrong can make many kilometres difference."

How do you solve that?

Bart explains: "With a new way of data cleaning. We started analysing and improving the old data to understand our emissions better. This showed us that we were emitting even less than we thought since the 3rd Lean & Green star."

Can you share any of the lessons learned?

Bart: "We know better through data cleaning where the pollution is and how to reduce it. So we can now store and use our data in a more structured way."

Henk adds: "Data doesn't sound sexy, and it can be challenging for individuals to gather clean and complete data. Think of accurate data entry, critical conversations with customers and cleaning up when data is incomplete or incorrect. It is, therefore, good to realise what the goal is."


Henk: "The point is that good data can make practice visible in reports and models. And you can then do all sorts of things with that. A simple example: If we think we are driving with full trailers because the customer tells us so, but the practice is that there is a single pallet in that trailer, then, of course, that doesn't go well."

"We now know better where the pollution is and how to reduce it"


So you need good data...

Henk: "Yes, with good data, we, as a company and ultimately as an industry, can steer better. It makes abuses and success stories visible, AND it allows you to arrive at the customer firmly grounded".

What does the future look like for this project? 

Data specialist Bart: "We must keep meeting Lean & Green requirements every year, so we have to keep our data clean. We want to solve the problem at the front end."

"Moreover," says Henk, "customers, not least because of the CSRD rules, are also naturally going to demand this more and more from us."

Bart agrees: "We can inform our customers even better about their carbon footprint."

Press release - Van der Wal receives 4th Lean & Green star

This week, Van der Wal received its 4th Lean & Green Star. To achieve this sustainable recognition, the transport company had to demonstrate that it has achieved a 55% CO2 reduction. With this 4th Lean & Green Star, Van der Wal can count itself among the frontrunners with five other shippers and transporters worldwide. The sustainability programme "Kill Empty Running" plays a vital role in this, with which the logistics service provider is committed to reducing empty kilometres.

Henk van der Wal: "I think it is great to see that the path we have embarked on of 'do now, what can be done now' with the Kill Empty Running programme has been able to deliver this 4th Star and 55% reduction in CO2."

Without zero-emission vehicles

Henk Van der Wal: "The commitment to the four topics we summarise under Kill Empty Running, combined with the Fleetboard and driver coaching programme, has largely made this possible."

"That this has been achieved without investing in (currently) expensive zero-emission vehicles and without using HVO makes us proud. I hope this motivates other carriers and customers not to wait and see what happens but instead to do today what they can do right now."

"Doing now, what can be done now"

Only six logistics companies worldwide with 4th Star

The 4th Star is awarded to participants who demonstrate that with a data scope of 85%, as much as 55% CO2 reduction has been achieved. With this 55%, the 4th Lean & Green Star follows the Fit for 55 target of the European Green Deal. 

January 2023 gave the green light to the auditor appointed by Lean & Green: Van der Wal has achieved 55% CO2 reduction. That means the company can count itself as a logistics sustainability leader worldwide, which brings the tally to six logistics companies that have achieved this. Van der Wal has proven with their Kill Empty Running programme that sustainable transport is possible.

The 5th Star as a new climate target?

Van der Wal is proud of achieving the 4th Star and wants to continue working on cleaner transport. So, what will be the next goal? The fifth Lean & Green Star? Yes, but it hasn't been defined yet. Fortunately, Van der Wal has already set itself another ambitious climate goal. Van der Wal's 2024 annual plan already sets out this new goal: Van der Wal wants to achieve a 65% CO2 reduction by 2030 compared to 2008.

Background to participation in Lean & Green

Lean & Green is a European programme of the Dutch Connekt that encourages companies to make their logistics and mobility processes more sustainable by actively working on CO2 reduction.

Participant in Lean & Green since 2008

Started in the Netherlands in 2008, the Lean & Green programme for sustainable logistics is active in 16 countries with more than 500 participating logistics parties. 

Van der Wal has been a participant from the beginning, and immediately after achieving the 3rd Lean & Green Star in 2018, it set the 4th Lean & Green Star as its new target.

Kill Empty Running for sustainable transport

Van der Wal started the Kill Empty Running sustainability programme in 2019. All Van der Wal employees contribute to this programme with their expertise and qualities.

These are the four pillars Kill Empty Running focuses on:

  • Fewer trucks running empty;
  • Fewer trucks running partially empty, thus optimising the load factor;
  • Less half-empty packaging, i.e. transporting less air by packaging that matches the product.
  • Encouraging the use of LHVs: 35% less CO2 per transported pallet

Henk explains about Kill empty running: "Making transport more sustainable now is essential to stay below the 2°C temperature rise by 2050. Why wait for others if a huge profit can be made now? Far too many trucks are driving around partly or completely empty. Eliminate empty kilometres; everyone can do that right now!"