Jan Willem van Manen: ‘When it comes to sustainability too, we are a proactive partner of interior contractors’

Steel not only looks great with wood, it is also a sustainable material. But how else does Perfotube help interior contractors when it comes to making sustainable choices? We asked director Jan Willem van Manen. 

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“Steel is indeed a sustainable material, as it has a long life and is entirely reusable”, agrees Jan Willem. “On the other hand, manufacturing and processing steel consumes a great deal of energy. That means you can make a big difference with the choices you make in this area.


Consideration for the climate and people’s well-being

“When it comes to sustainability too, we are therefore keen to be a proactive partner of the interior contractor. After all, we think it’s important to give consideration to the climate and people’s well-being. We’re also aware that companies can have a greater impact in these areas than individuals. That comes with a responsibility. We therefore make a conscious choice to work with sustainable partners and to make our own business processes sustainable.”


Laser cutting: fibre instead of CO2

“In our sector all kinds of technologies are available that can help you manufacture in a more energy-efficient way. Take fibre laser cutting instead of CO2 laser cutting, for example. Our production site in the Netherlands is a leader when it comes to using this kind of technology and the same goes for our production partners at home and abroad. Sustainability is also one of the criteria we use when selecting our partners.”


Heat recovery and better extraction

“Do I have an example? Well, the powder coater we work with has taken big steps forward in the area of heat recovery. In Eastern Europe we also have a production partner that does a lot of grinding work. They were already doing well in terms of sustainability and working conditions, also by Dutch standards. When we were there, however, we noticed that the extraction could be improved. So we also discuss issues like this. As a result, they are now doing better in this area.” 

“Do you necessarily want the lowest price? Even at the expense of working conditions or the environment?”


Far East: considerable differences between manufacturers

For large series Perfotube also uses production locations in the Far East. What is the situation there with regard to sustainability? “Generally speaking, they are not as far down the road as we are here, but there are considerable differences from one manufacturer to another. We have made a conscious decision not to work with certain manufacturers, following a visit to their factory. I think this is also a question that our customers need to ask themselves. Do you necessarily want the lowest price? Even at the expense of working conditions or the environment?”


Focus on sustainability throughout the process

Besides in production, Perfotube also pays considerable attention to sustainability in its logistics processes and in the office. Jan Willem explains: “Our logistics centre is heated entirely using a ground source heating system. We also switched over to a hybrid vehicle fleet at an early stage and we always try to combine transports to avoid unnecessary kilometres. In addition, we use reusable packaging as much as possible; where we are unable to do so, we opt for alternatives with a lower environmental impact. Our office is now virtually paper-free too. These are all small, but concrete steps forward.”


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