RedStar regards it as its corporate social duty to encourage sustainable management of nature and the environment. We see care for the environment as an integral part of our business operations. This core value underlies our investments in e.g. sustainable and efficient growing methods, sustainable packagings for our customers, and our willingness to invest more in sustainable projects focusing on people, nature and the environment.
At our growing locations in both Dinteloord and Tinte-Oostvoorne, we are participating in exploration within a collective context towards achieving alternative energy routes. In Tinte-Oostvoorne this relates to a specific project using geothermal energy. The Nieuw Prinsenland “greenhouse farming area”, where RedStar’s Dinteloord growing location is situated, provides the infrastructure for socially responsible business operations in collaboration with several different parties. We will take you along in the story of a sustainable and innovative vision of our growing.
In our greenhouses, a combined heat & power system produces electricity and heating, which means that our use of energy can be very clean and efficient. Every cubic metre of natural gas is fully used and we send the released CO2 into the greenhouse, to be absorbed by the tomato plants. We therefore use all the elements for the growth of our plants, and nothing is discharged.
In the continuing development of our sustainable vision, as part of the Nieuw Prinsenland Agro & Food Cluster, RedStar can expect to be using residual heat from the Suiker Unie sugar beet factory in 2019. The goal for 2021 is to optimise the transition to residual heat by means of an additional connection from the Moerdijk port and industrial area, which will enable optimum recirculation of energy in this area in the near future!
All the water that RedStar uses in its greenhouses is re-used (rain)water, supplemented with purified irrigation water from the adjacent Suiker Unie sugar beet factory. The Nieuw Prinsenland Agro & Food Cluster is a pioneer in the area of water management with a unique and sustainable water system, where a sustainable solution is found for both the growing water and the wastewater from the growing process.
The rainwater that falls on the greenhouses meets 95% of RedStar’s water requirements. This water is collected in reservoirs, purified and used in the greenhouses, after the addition of nutrients.
● Supplementary source of irrigation water
The other water comes from a sustainable supplementary source of irrigation water. Large quantities of water are released during Suiker Unie’s sugar beet processing season. This process water is purified for the first time and then stored in an underground irrigation water reservoir. In this reservoir, between two layers of clay, the water is purified by means of natural sand filtration. When the growers need the water, this fresh water is pumped upwards and made ready for use in the growing process.
● Separated wastewater system
When the irrigation water has been used several times via recirculation, it is no longer of suitable quality for use on the plants. The water is then wastewater from the growing process, or “drainwater”, and is collected in a shared drainwater reservoir. Here it is collectively purified, after which it can be discharged into the surface water.
RedStar aims to make maximum use of organic growing methods. This means that as far as possible we use natural (micro)organisms and plant protection products in order to maintain the natural balance in the greenhouse. Together with our organic approach, RedStar is also increasingly using mechanical methods, such as removing leaves by hand to reduce risks in the greenhouse.
Re-use of materials
At all our growing locations we separate waste when collecting it. In addition, the plants are composted, after the best of their work has been done. The rockwool mats are recycled and separated into three waste fractions during the processing: plastic waste, plant residues and rockwool granulate. The processed materials can then go back into the chain for re-use.
Around the greenhouse
We also regard the flora and fauna around our greenhouses as important. We therefore use sheep for ecofriendly maintenance of the vegetation. The Nieuw Prinsenland Agro & Food Cluster also has “ecological corridors”, which enable the movement of animals and plants between two nature conservation areas.