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Sustainable energy at Niko

Sustainability is high up on Niko's agenda. We actively look for solutions to make our ecological impact as small as possible.

With our smart solutions, we ensure that our customers' buildings run with greater energy-efficiency, but we intend to use energy as consciously and sustainably as possible at our own factory too. One major part of our sustainability policy is our investment in green energy and technologies that make us less dependent on mains power.

What are these? Our colleagues Bart Verstuyft and Filip Van Haute run through a few of our initiatives.

A factory that runs on solar energy

Solar panels are now a familiar sight on many buildings. Niko's roofs were equipped with a photovoltaic installation years ago as well.

"We recently renovated those to produce even more green power. The intention at first was to fit new panels next to the existing ones, as our installation was not yet at the end of its life," Filip kicks off.

Niko zonnepanelen

"But the technological evolutions in terms of solar cells are progressing rapidly. Modern-day solar panels generate a great deal more electricity than those from several years ago. This was why we decided to update the entire photovoltaic installation. The existing solar panels were replaced by new ones with a greater yield, meaning we are producing more electricity with the same surface area. In addition, we have equipped some extra roofs, such as those of our bike sheds, with solar panels," he continues.

The figures speak volumes: whereas we used to have a 950kWp solar installation, our capacity now amounts to 2,600kWp. Filip: "The investment thus meant that we generate almost three times as much electricity today as we did before. On sunny days, our factory itself provides the electricity we need for all of our processes.

" And our old solar panels are not just being discarded," Filip adds. "A specialist partner took care of the recycling. In a large-scale pilot project, they recovered all manner of raw materials, such as gas, metal and silicon. These will then be used to make new products."

Electric cars

To further reduce our CO2 footprint, we are also electrifying our car fleet. By 2025, all company cars for Niko employees must be electric. This is why we now have 40 charging stations on our grounds. "This presents an additional challenge for us," as Bart knows.

"When all those cars are plugged in to charge in the morning and the production starts up at the same time, that means a heavy load for our electrical installation. Moreover, we would cause a high consumption peak, sharply raising our electricity bills. In order to prevent that, we have a system for load balancing. We use this to determine how much capacity we send to the charging stations, so our installation always remains in balance."

Read more about Niko's sustainability policy

Read more about saving energy with Niko