At Virol, everything has value
Virol is a specialist in recycling and processing of just about every conceivable type of commercial waste. That includes the secure destruction of products and archives, as well as secure archive storage through their subsidiary Reisswolf. Virol has been expanding its expertise since its founding in 1970 and now has an important reputation as knowledge partner for the sector. Being a family-owned company in the north of the Netherlands, Virol combines corporate social responsibility and their connection to the local community with a strong international network. Collaborating and contributing to the circular economy by preserving raw materials are the central pillars of the company’s four main activities: collection, recycling, trading and archive services. Virol’s Quality, Health & Safety and Environmental Coordinator, Jan Wietse Kiewiet, is responsible for implementing and advise on a wide range of quality standards.
Virol takes its role in the recycling industry very seriously. Jan Wietse Kiewiet says, ‘The waste flow continues to grow, while the availability of raw materials continues to shrink. At the same time, population levels are increasing worldwide. Reuse is therefore essential and inevitable, so our customers naturally want to know what we are doing about it. They want to be able to rely on us to process their waste flows responsibly. This is not only a response to increase regulation; it also comes from a growing sense of responsibility. At Virol, this is grounded in our most fundamental commitment to proving that everything has value.’
A multitude of certifications
‘To offer our customers a full range of solutions, we collect anything from paper, plastic and wood to metals, electronics and electrical equipment. Because of this wide range of waste processing, we now have about 12 certifications that apply to the various processes and types of waste flow. We choose to undergo most of these certifications to ensure our process is well organised. We want our customers to know they can trust us in being a responsible partner in waste management. Regular contact with certification agencies and specialist knowledge partners, are allowing us to keep up with developments in the industry. The regulatory pressure in Europe is increasing, of course, with a considerable push to meet recycling goals. That has consequences for companies, and many are searching for effective ways to comply with them. That is why we want to be, both a specialist and an advisor. Because of our position between regulations and certification agencies and the business world, we can act as a radar for the market,’ according to Jan Wietse.
Four of the certifications for Virol’s core activities are provided by Kiwa. These are the MRF for metal, OPK for paper and cardboard, WEEELABEX for electrical and electronic waste, and CA+ for archive and data destruction. Jan Wietse explains why Virol works with Kiwa: ‘We have a systematic improvement process that we cycle through. We perform our own inspections for this. I prefer to work with Kiwa because they provide a good sounding board. I know a lot about different systems, but I don’t know everything. So having someone who knows the market is invaluable. Kiwa’s Rob Franken, for example, was there at the beginning of WEEELABEX. Having multiple certifications going through Kiwa also creates a knowledge synergy. They don’t have to spend an entire week on location repeating evaluations of the areas that overlap.’
‘I am very pleased with Kiwa. They tell it like it is. Professional and straight to the point, that is simply what they do.’
E-Waste and CSR
‘Virol is also a socially responsible company. As part of this, we provide work for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market, giving them jobs processing electronic and electrical equipment. We also initiated the Virol E-waste Academy to provide them with training. The Virol E-waste Academy offers various work experience traineeship opportunities in tech, logistics and production where trainees receive hands-on training toward paid employment. This is how we, and collaborating with Kiwa as well, are working toward our core belief that everything has value!’, says Jan Wietse Kiewiet.