The new Dutch Vault, which went into operation in 2020, is the first industry’s first energy-neutral mint. It was constructed at a cost of €20 million, and sustainability was designed into not just the building itself, but also operations and processes. As a result, RDM is self-sufficient in energy and has reduced its waste by around 50% compared with its previous site.
The solar power plant on the facility’s roof meets all its electricity needs. The building is heated with electricity only, so not does not consume any fossil fuels. The heat from the presses can be reused to heat the building and cold night air is used to cool it in the summer.
The company has also taken various operational measures to reduce its carbon footprint, materials consumption and waste.
Demand for electricity is minimised through the use of LED lighting and timers, advanced heating, ventilation and air condition systems, and electric forklift trucks.
Rainwater is captured and used to flush toilets and to water the gardens. RDM uses a local recycling company to treat process water with high levels of metal particles. The wastewater is now of such high quality that the environmental impact is no longer significant. Moreover, the metal particles themselves are captured and recycled.
RDM has also been able to reduce the use of chemicals and production time in its machines and processes by optimising the process parameters and monitoring the time and consumption. Automation has increased productivity.
Cardboard for packaging is now sourced from ‘Forest Stewardship Council’ suppliers, and if plastic packaging is required, RDM looks to work with recyclable plastics. All waste on site is now sorted and, wherever possible, recycled.
Staff are encouraged to use public transport or cycle to work, there are fewer office printers, and these are set to print double sided only and in monocolour.