On the spot: Yannick Dylst, Sustainability Project Manager

On the spot: Yannick Dylst, Sustainability Project Manager

Sustainability is more than a noble pursuit at H.Essers, it’s something we actively practice every day. We have made huge strides in this area in recent years. You can read all about our evolution and our environmental ambitions in our annual sustainability report, two issues of which have been published so far. A year ago, Yannick Dylst joined our team as a sustainability manager who is passionate about our sustainability strategy. Today, on World Earth Day, he explains the challenges our company faces in transitioning towards a green future and the role he intends to play as Sustainability Project Manager.

Yannick Dylst applied for a job at H.Essers at the end of 2020. As a civil engineer with project management and consultancy experience, he was looking for a job with social value. ‘Energy technology, sustainability and project management have always interested me,’ explains Yannick. ‘At university I started studying technologies such as lasers, LED and solar energy. But I really hoped to find a job where I could put my passion for sustainability into practice. That’s exactly what I found at H.Essers, where I have the freedom to further develop our sustainable strategy.’

Interdepartmental

Yannick is the first sustainability expert at H.Essers and therefore plays a pioneering role. ‘When I first applied, H.Essers had already made important moves to put their sustainability goals into practice. I was excited to join the team in this phase. We’ve since made sustainability an integral part of our organisation, our processes and our meetings. We’ve also worked on several concrete projects with other departments.’ That’s where Yannick’s strength lies: despite working independently, he remains in constant contact with colleagues in other departments, from transport and warehousing operations to HR and legal. ‘I rarely work alone,’ he explains. ‘That’s what makes my work so diverse.’

More than the environment

Yannick’s tasks range from stakeholder management, administration and reporting to following up on concrete, hands-on projects. ‘All departments contribute to our nineteen sustainability ambitions, which means I’m responsible for a lot of projects. A sustainability strategy is about more than just the environment. It’s also about creating a safe work environment, offering opportunities for growth and development, promoting health and well-being, and much more. My tasks range from developing environmentally friendly solutions to drafting a robust code of conduct.’

Synchromodality

H.Essers has pursued large-scale sustainability goals and synchromodal solutions for the past few years. ‘The Port of Limburg in Genk and the Markiezaat Container Terminal in Bergen op Zoom are just two examples. Road, rail and water connections with easy access to key areas are indispensable for us as a logistics service provider. By investing strategically in such locations and optimising our use of different transport modes, we can drastically reduce our annual CO2 output. We are always looking for solutions that increase the efficiency of our transports. One example is the Coolbox, a secure, refrigerated container that has helped us expand the intermodal transportation for our pharmaceutical segment.’

Helping the client move forward

Sustainability has become an important topic among our clients as well. According to forecasts, logistics will be the world’s most polluting sector by 2040. For this reason, many companies are committed to making their logistics activities more sustainable. ‘I frequently meet with clients to discuss our ambitions, solutions, projects and processes, all of which highlight our sustainability experience. This is a positive trend that we as a partner are happy to participate in.’ H.Essers is always on the lookout for innovative applications. A pilot is usually set up (independently or in consultation with the client) before the solution is rolled out in the rest of the organisation. ‘One example is HVO insetting, which uses biodiesel to reduce the CO2 emissions of our road transports. We developed this concept last year for one of our clients, have since implemented it on a wider scale and now recommend it to other clients as well. That’s how fast it can go.’

Making a difference

What does Earth Day mean to Yannick? ‘It’s nice to see growing interest in sustainability and the environment. H.Essers invests in synchromodality, green energy, and greener on-site areas. But sustainability is about more than just the environment. It’s about people, society and the planet. I believe we should set the example as a leading logistics service provider. We’re currently setting up a process with HR and Communication to convey this message company-wide. We want everyone in the organisation to share and support our ambitions and values. H.Essers wants to be a pioneer who sets a high standard every day. Let’s make it transpossible!’