DAF has had an ’EcoDesign’ team since 1998. This team has the task of reducing the environmental impact as early as during the construction phase. EcoDesign also stands for Ecology + Economy. This means that DAF not only looks for solutions that are good for the environment but that also further improve the efficiency of the truck. As well as staff from Development, the team also includes representatives from Product Planning, Testing, Purchasing and Production.
The team introduces ’green’ options during the development of products and components: technical possibilities for reducing the environmental impact. Take the AS Tronic for example, the automated gearbox installed by DAF in their CF and XF series. The AS Tronic is approx. 70 kg lighter than a manual gearbox and also provides optimum switching behaviour. It therefore reduces not only fuel consumption but also the quantity of exhaust gases.
Product Developers at DAF make use of the ’EcoDesign Tool’: an electronic tool for designing with the environment in mind. This tool, for example, specifies the factors the engineer must consider to optimise the recyclability of the products, how weight-reduction can be achieved or how environmental aspects can be influenced in the production phase. The designer can also use the tool to carry out a ’life-cycle analysis’ of the product or construction on which he or she is working. This analysis can be used to calculate the environmental impact of the designed product for each phase of the life cycle. In addition, the tool contains information about constructions that have been improved since the original versions, thus having a reduced impact on the environment.
DAF’s production facilities in Eindhoven and Westerlo
The most important environmental aspects of the production processes relate to: air, water and energy consumption, raw materials, additives and residual substances and noise.
A compulsory assessment of the environmental aspects is carried out with all planned investments. Targets or limits are set for all these aspects, based on legal requirements, PACCAR requirements or requirements from DAF itself.
Continuous measurements are taken to analyse whether the targets and limits are being observed. The results of DAF’s environmental policy are proof of the work put into the policy: compared with 2000, solvent emissions per built truck were reduced by more than 50%, the amount of chemical waste per built truck was reduced by 36% and the total amount of drinking water was reduced by almost 55%. And these are just a few examples.
The most important services purchased by DAF that can affect the environment are cleaning services, residual waste management, maintenance and inspection of real estate and infrastructure, (new) building projects, transport of vehicles and transport of parts.
Environmental issues are taken into consideration when selecting service suppliers. DAF applies strict selection criteria on these suppliers based on official recognition or certification. Contract requirements pertaining to the environment form an integral part of the relationship between DAF and its suppliers. These must ensure that the requirements contained in the environmental permit issued to the DAF site are observed during execution of the service.
Care for the environment also plays a large part when purchasing production and other materials. DAF’s contracts with its suppliers include an environmental clause, in which the supplier declares that the supplied product complies with the legal environmental regulations in force. The environmental clause is also meant to initiate or maintain a continuous process of improvement on the supplier side. In addition, DAF’s purchasing department uses a special Internet application to assess how environmentally friendly its suppliers are.