Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The United Nations has formulated seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to create a better world for people and our planet by 2030. Van der Knaap Group understands that focusing on sustainable entrepreneurship is essential for the future, and we are committed to following the SDGs to do our part where possible. Our focus is currently on five objectives.
SDG 1: No poverty
With production locations all over the world, the Van der Knaap Group provides employment in countries such as Sri Lanka, India, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. The factories are generally located in rural areas with limited opportunities for employment. The wages and training that Van der Knaap offers its employees are above average and we get actively involved in the community through social projects. These projects include health care, education and housing. We recognise the importance of maintaining strong links with the community and supporting their sustainability goals.
SDG 2: Zero hunger
Van der Knaap Groep supplies products worldwide that can be used to produce fruit and vegetables. One of the pillars for which our products are tested is their crop yield. We can contribute to this sustainability goal by providing the highest possible yield from the crops grown on our products.
We offer employees at Van der Knaap production locations in, for example, India and Sri Lanka, a hot meal every day.
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
Good health and well-being are of paramount importance at our production locations. The employees of some of our locations undergo periodic medical check-ups, all employees are provided with personal protective equipment, and are offered extensive training and courses to create a safe and healthy working environment.
Van der Knaap has developed a bio-reactor that produces an organic nutrient solution. The spectrum of micronutrients in organic food is much broader than in a conventional mineral nutrient solution. Van der Knaap does research into the effect of the various micronutrients in order to grow crops that contain more vitamins, among other things. In other words: a healthier product.
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Van der Knaap strives to take the social impact of our activities into account as an organisation. We make sure that socially acceptable workplace practices are developed, maintained and put into practice. The focus is on international labour standards that protect employees.
Core themes that we focus on include child labour, health and safety, discrimination and (fair) remuneration. In concrete terms, this means, among other things, that child labour is not tolerated and that there is no discrimination. In addition, the organisation ensures that a safe workplace is provided, that there is no corruption and that employees are fairly remunerated.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
Van der Knaap works together with local partners at the production locations for coco and peat products. We consciously choose to collaborate on the basis of a full partnership and to build lasting relationships. We also work on maintaining lasting relationships within the supply chain, for example, with owners of plantations and peat bogs and suppliers, but also with our stakeholders. Working on achieving corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals is only possible if we work together.
Sustainable raw materials
Sustainability plays a significant role in the choice of the raw materials for our products. That is why we work with organic, environmentally friendly materials, such as coco and peat. Both have a natural source, and they are completely organic and recyclable.
A coconut tree produces around 100 coconuts per year. That is why we call this a renewable raw material. Every part of the coconut is used. The inner nut is processed in the food industry, for oils and charcoal. The husk of the coconut is processed in the fibre industry. What remains after the fibres have been removed from the husk is coir dust. This by-product is what we use for our finer coco substrates, such as Knaap Elite. We create coarse substrates, such as Knaap Profit and Knaap Maximum, by chopping up the entire husk. Coco can be recycled and processed into raw material for soil improvement. We limit transport-related CO2 emissions by transporting all our products dry and compressed.
Peat is also a natural product that is extracted from already drained marshy peat areas. Peat can be divided into roughly two categories: white peat and black peat. Various peat fractions can be produced from white peat. Black peat is used as garden peat in substrate mixtures. In winter, frost forms the pores that are necessary to absorb water and air. We only process RHP-approved raw materials for our products. The RHP quality label offers assurances that the substrate meets various quality requirements. An organisation like RPP (Responsibly Produced Peat) monitors that peat extraction is done in a sustainable manner.