The environment and sustainability are key areas of focus in our company. We continuously search for ways of reducing our environmental footprint as much as possible. Our greenhouses have been heated using sustainable geothermal energy since 2012. Geothermal energy has largely replaced natural gas as our heat source. The use of geothermal energy allows us to reduce our natural gas consumption by approximately 80%. This technology also significantly reduces our CO2 emissions.
The principle behind geothermal energy is simple: water at a temperature of 70 degrees is pumped up from a depth of 1800 metres from underneath the company’s site. This hot water is used to heat the greenhouses. Once the heat energy has been removed from the water, it is pumped back down to the same depth.
Greenhouse Geo Power Koekoekspolder project
The geothermal well was built as part of the GreenhouseGeo Power Koekoekspolder project, an initiative set up by the Vahl brothers and Kwekerij Voorhof. The project required extensive preparation. The actual excavation work for this unique geothermal well started in the spring of 2011. The geothermal well was opened officially on 30 March 2012 as part of the opening ceremony for the ‘Kom in de Kas’ open days.
The project suffered some minor setbacks during the early stages and it was a while before the system reached optimum operational capacity. For example, a larger capacity pump had to be installed in order to pump the water back into the earth and a solution had to be found for gas bubbles rising to the surface. Finally though, we succeeded in harvesting the first geothermally produced cucumbers at the beginning of January 2013.
Many of our customers attach great importance to corporate social responsibility and consciously choose to purchase sustainably grown products. To support this choice, our geothermally produced cucumbers are sold with a distinctive geothermal energy logo on the box.