Sustainability

Lankhorst Ropes’ Sustainability Strategy is based on our responsibility to society and the environment, customers, shareholders and employees to encourage conditions under which we can all flourish, existing in productive harmony, and fulfilling the social and economic aspirations of present and future generations.

1. Responsibility towards society

As a good corporate citizen we seek to ensure that Lankhorst Ropes and its activities adds to the wellbeing of society. We design our products and services to provide a safe working environment for customers and to contribute towards their business operations. Indeed we view our customer relationship as one of shared business and environmental aims. Our products are designed to assist customers in achieving their business and environment aims.

Lankhorst Ropes conducts its business in a responsible way. It complies with all national and international regulations related to the manufacture, operation and sales of its products. Lankhorst Ropes does not do business with countries, which are subject to embargoes.

Moreover, as a company, we are opposed to corruption in all its forms and pursue an active anti corruption training programme for all executives involved in sales, contracts and procurement.

Our obligation to society covers all aspects of our business: products and innovation, employees and customers. These are covered in more detail below.

2. Responsibility towards environment

Lankhorst Ropes takes its responsibility to the environment very seriously.

Lankhorst Ropes takes a 'cradle to cradle' approach to rope development, manufacture and recycling. It has developed the rope industry's first recycling scheme for retired maritime ropes. The ropes are downcycled as picnic sets, plastic poles, planks and even complete landing stages, riverbank bank protection boards and bridges. New ropes are supplied with a works certificate containing the rope's unique number and recycling scheme logo. When ropes are returned, a confirmation of receipt for recycling is issued.

While ropes are in use, Lankhorst has developed ways to reduce their environmental impact by assisting customers in maximizing service life. Its Thousand Cycle Load Level (TCLL) test programme is designed to ensure ropes are retired at the correct time – avoiding unnecessary rope replacement.

Manufacturing

Lankhorst Ropes is committed to systematically reducing the carbon footprint of its manufacturing operations. It is using solar power to reduce energy consumption, reducing waste during rope production, and minimising the environmental impact of rope distribution.

In the UK, Lankhorst Ropes office in the “energy efficient” Retford Enterprise Centre combines renewable energy technologies such as a wind turbine and rainwater collection system, minimising the environmental impact of its business.  

Recently the company has invested over 1M Euro in two photovoltaic energy production plants for the Global Synthetics Lankhorst Euronete production plant and research centre in Maia, Portugal. Covering an area of 4,000 m2, the 2,500 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels produce 600 kW power, with an estimated annual energy production of 840 MWh/Year, equivalent to 4% of the site’s energy consumption. It has also relocated its strander operation to avoid transporting twisted yarn before various production locations, with significant emission savings.

During rope manufacture, production processes are optimised in order to reduce waste; all waste is monitored. Over time Lankhorst Ropes has systematically reduced the percentage of waste to around 3% of the total rope manufactured. All waste polypropylene and polyethylene yarn is recycled and reprocessed internally in appropriate applications. We also collaborate with our key suppliers as ‘Partners in Sustainability’, such as DSM on the recycling of Dyneema materials.

For transport and disposal of waste that cannot be recycled, Lankhorst works with Certified Companies on its disposal. All the different kinds of waste are recorded and an annual report sent to The Netherlands and Portuguese National Environment Agencies.

Distribution

In 2012, Lankhorst Ropes relocated its rope production facility for deepwater mooring ropes and single point mooring (SPM) hawsers from Povoa de Varzim near Porto in Portugal to a new purpose built, energy efficient, factory at Viana do Castello, on the coast about 80 km north of Porto. The new production facility is close to the port, allowing large reels of deepwater mooring ropes to be simply moved to the quayside ready for load out. Previously the ropes were taken by road to the port at Porto, the new factory significantly reduces transport costs from factory to port.

Lankhorst Ropes employs an external contractor to provide transport services for rope delivery and collections. Their commitment to environmental best practice is an important component of our overall sustainability strategy.  In addition to monitoring and reducing CO2 emissions, the company uses EURO 5 and EURO 6 vehicles with lower emissions; drivers are trained to drive as efficiently as possible. It uses automated route planning to determine the shortest and most efficient route for rope delivery and collections.

Closer to home, the Lankhorst Ropes’ car policy requires that employees on company business must only use  vehicles with low CO2 emissions.

3. Responsibility to Customers

Lankhorst Ropes enjoys long working relationships with its customers. We expect to work closely with them to produce ropes and other products that make a significant contribution to their businesses.

We have a duty of care to all users of our products. We take this very seriously. Lankhorst Ropes is committed to setting the industry standard for rope performance and safety.

Rope developments such as the A3 splice and Tipto Winchline have received industry recognition for their contribution to crew safety, winning Seatrade, 'Innovation in Ship Operations' awards, the first time a company has won it in consecutive years.

Tipto Winchline reduces the threat to crew and passengers from mooring rope snap back. The A3 splice is lighter, stronger and smaller than traditional splices, and marked a significant improvement in the ease of rope handling during mooring and towing.

Poor rope selection and management not only increases the safety risks for crew, it imposes a greater environmental payload through increased rope usage and transportation emissions. Lankhorst Ropes draws on hundreds of year’s experience of maritime ropes to advise on the most appropriate rope selection. Our involvement doesn’t stop there. We are able to assist with on-going rope management through rope testing of retired ropes to establish a predictive model of in-service rope life.  

Lankhorst Ropes provides training courses for crews handling its ropes either on-site or at the Dordrecht rope storage facility. In addition, we have developed a colour-coding system to assist crew during rope operations and when buying new Tipto Twelve mooring ropes. The innovative coloured marker will make it possible to identify a ropes size through visual inspection. This will ensure the correct size of rope is used or bought, lowering the chance of error in mooring operations and saving operators from purchasing the incorrect rope.

4. Responsibility towards employees

Lankhorst Ropes aims to engage employees such that they feel valued and able to maximise their potential, develop their skills and enjoy a fulfilling career. It is our wish that employees are able to optimally do their job from the moment they enter until they leave our company.

The four fundaments that form the basis for sustainable employability at Lankhorst Ropes are: Organisational culture, Working environment, Career and Vitality.

Our employees are our greatest assets. Our organisation structure is designed to encourage employees to grow, realise their full career potential and share their ideas on how we as a company can improve our products and processes.

Every year employees and managers undertake annual performance evaluation reviewing their performance, career expectations, identifying areas for improvement and what training is needed to address them. In 2011, only 40% of employees conducted the appraisal in 2013, this had increased to 88% reflecting Lankhorst’s commitment to greater employee participation. Another important aspect of the performance evaluation is the space to talk about other issues related to the business. For example, what are the barriers to enabling them to do there job more efficiently? How can products be improved? Indeed, the most significant development in rope splicing in many years, the A3 splice, was an idea proposed by one of team of professional rope splicers.

An employee satisfaction survey is conducted annually. It covers the following topics:
 
1.     Where are you proud of within Lankhorst?
2.     What can be improved within Lankhorst?
3.     What can be improved within your own team?
4.     Work related questions, e.g. are you satisfied, does your job give you energy, are you proud at the job you do, etc.
5.     Vitality: what about the workload, can you handle your job emotionally and physically, right balance between work and home, etc.
6.     Workplace: happy with the circumstances, enough resources to do your job, happy with working hours
7.     Department: happy with direct colleagues, good cooperation, pleasant contact with manager, etc.
8.     Organisation: happy with Lankhorst, proud on Lankhorst, feel appreciated at Lankhorst, right communication
 
The survey is used to highlight areas of strength that need to be nurtured and areas for improvement for the entire company. In both cases an action plan is developed where responsibilities are shared across the entire company – ensuring we take ownership of the challenges, as well as enjoying the benefits.