‘Planting 150,000 trees is a wonderful gesture’

Peter Gijsen

My name is Peter Gijsen and I have been with BAM since 1999. In 2013 I became the manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at BAM Bouw en Vastgoed Nederland. In this position I’m also responsible for the coordination of sustainable timber use for all Dutch BAM companies. Every day I’m working to ensure BAM’s optimal commitment to the application of sustainable timber, and of course I’m really pleased with the idea of BAM planting 150,000 trees to celebrate our 150th anniversary. I think it’s a wonderful gesture.

Planting trees for future generations

Each year the world looses an area of forest twice the size of the Netherlands, which results in a global increase of CO2 emissions by 15%. Clearly it’s very important for the sake of our planet and a liveable environment for future generations that we protect and replant the forests.

A better climate begins with baby steps

All people share a responsibility for climate change. It is my opinion that we should all accept our responsibility. Too often I hear people asking ‘What impact can I have?’ but as long no one steps forward, nothing will happen.

BAM sets its own targets

Part of the BAM strategy is that in addition to reducing our CO2 emissions we also aim to develop net zero circular concepts. In terms of reducing emissions we have introduced many excellent initiatives, such as the deployment of electric aerial work platforms, reduction of waste, improved sustainability of our site cabins and the promotion of economical driving styles. Every quarter I take stock of our achievements, analyse our carbon footprint and chart waste quantities. Without concrete targets, consistent measurements and reporting, sustainable thinking could never become part of our processes and our daily way of working.

Good results already

All our supply contracts state that we only accept certified sustainable timber. Twice already, this has earned BAM a first place in a ranking of the fifty largest construction companies with regard to using sustainable timber. At this point, 99% of all timber in BAM’s Dutch projects is from a sustainable source, a fact that we can all be proud of.

Ambitions

I believe we can still improve in our utilisation of circular materials. Perhaps the fact that clients are increasingly keen to choose circular solutions, along with further support from the legislature, will contribute to an increase in the application of timber.