Ever since its establishment in 1964, Bolidt has been on a mission: the company aims to replace traditional materials with sustainable alternatives. The maritime industry is one of the areas where Bolidt has a string of sustainable innovations to its name. Bolidt continues to fulfil its mission in this sector, through innovations, sponsorship, partnerships and knowledge sharing.
Talk about foresight: ‘People-Planet-Profit’ has been central to Bolidt’s business operations from the start. The mission of the founders in 1964 was to replace traditional materials with sustainable alternatives. What’s more, the company decided on a remarkable strategy: to have complete control. According to Bolidt, it was and still is the best way for a company to work as sustainably as possible.
That’s why the company controls the entire production chain, from R&D to installation. Bolidt not only develops raw materials – as natural as possible – for the synthetic systems, but also the equipment used to produce and process these. And because it has control over all aspects, Bolidt can optimally coordinate the entire process and always choose the most sustainable solutions.
Bolidt also works using the LEAN methodology; with this management philosophy aimed at continuous improvement, Bolidt combats waste and eliminates elements that do not offer added value. To reduce the amount of waste, for example, parts of the production process are moved from the production site in the Netherlands to the various construction sites around the world.
This saves on packaging material and unnecessary transport.
Given such an outspoken mission, it goes without saying that Bolidt products are extremely sustainable. In fact, the durability of the synthetic systems has only increased thanks to ongoing innovations. The Bolidt products retain their functionality, strength and colour-fastness for virtually their entire service life. There’s no better way to reduce our carbon footprint (and that of our clients).
One of the work areas where Bolidt is taking the lead in the field of sustainability is the maritime sector. Since its foundation, Bolidt has been involved in the design, development and production of sustainable ship decking. This has resulted in the innovative Bolideck systems that are not only functional, but also an inspiration in the industry. As far as Bolidt is concerned, it does not end here, either, as is apparent from the Maritime Sustainability Report, which focuses on the years 2021 to 2030.
To share its expertise and gain new knowledge, in 2022 Bolidt became a sponsor of the Solar Boat Twente team. Solar Boat Twente team, are focused on creating an efficient solar-powered boat. You might wonder how this contributes to their aims of leading a movement towards sustainability? Well, first some illustrative facts. Maritime transport alone is responsible for approximately 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, contrary to what you would expect, ships were found to be (on average) less fuel-efficient in 2013 than they were in the 1990s.
Moreover, while other sectors are successfully reducing their carbon emissions, it is estimated that the maritime sector can account for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. Our conclusion: the maritime sector really needs to step up its efforts to decrease its contribution to global greenhouse gas production.
Solar Boat Twente encourages environmental awareness by applying renewable energy to the maritime sector through the design, development and optimization of a reliable solar boat. By pushing boundaries, the multidisciplinary team embraces a major challenge: designing and building the powerboat of tomorrow.
The Solar Boat Twente team has set out to chart the possibilities for a sustainable maritime sector and inspire the industry to take steps towards a more sustainable future, a mission that aligns perfectly with that of Bolidt. Bolidt has also been investigating for some time now how a ship’s decking can be used to generate power. By sponsoring the Solar Boat Twente Team, Bolidt aims to share its knowledge and experience and, in return, gain inspiration from the students. The team has already visited the Bolidt Innovation Center this year to brainstorm on collaboration and possible sustainable innovations.
In the maritime sector, Bolidt is the world market leader when it comes to decking for cruise ships. Bolidt has worked for years with many of the largest shipyards and shipping companies in the world. Innovative systems have emerged from these partnerships, as can be seen, for example, in the collaboration with Meyer Werft. This originally Dutch family business has been around for more than two centuries and is now one of the largest cruise ship builders worldwide.
Like Bolidt, Meyer Werft is driven by knowledge and innovation. It is therefore not surprising that late last year Bolidt presented the first Design Challenge Award to Meyer Werft’s concept designer Thorben Stubbe, creator of the innovative concept ‘Algae Lifecycle Floor’ (ALF). This carbon-negative system for the cruise industry is now being further developed at the Bolidt Innovation Center and will hopefully be on board cruise ships in the near future.
ALF is a living, breathing system comprising lightweight, hardwearing, sustainable materials including soya resin, hemp fibre and bamboo. The system includes a bioplastic water tank containing live algae, which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and Pavegen tiles, which harness kinetic energy from footsteps to generate electricity. ALF can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces in the form of flooring, partitioning, wind protection or wall decoration. In its inaugural concept, ALF has been presented as a dance floor where people generate electricity with their dance moves.
This electricity is used, for one, to power the pumps needed to cultivate the algae. The award was presented to Stubbe thanks to his concept that allows floors and walls on cruise ships to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen while also generating energy, meaning this concept can make a valuable contribution towards reducing the cruise industry’s carbon footprint. And that’s exactly what Bolidt has in mind.
Who better to make recommendations about the future than the next generation? And that’s exactly why Bolidt has launched the project The Next Generation. A group of young Bolidt employees and children of Bolidt staff are thinking about the impact that Bolidt can make in the area of People-Planet-Profit. As ‘internal consultants’ they tackle issues from various departments. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the standard against which Bolidt’s initiatives are measured. The Next Generation aims to ensure that Bolidt will continue to be a great place to work in the future too and continue to contribute to a world that is more sustainable.
P.O. Box 131
3340 AC Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
Bolidt Innovation Center
3341 LW The Netherlands
TEL +31 (0)78 684 54 44