Calfskin processor Oukro makes sustainability progress

Oukro is installing 1,578 solar panels and will have one of the largest roof mounted systems in the Netherlands.

Oukro, a subsidiary of the VanDrie Group and the largest calfskin processor in the world, has given the go-ahead for the installation of 1,578 solar panels at its business premises in Apeldoorn. A total roof surface of 3900 m² will be utilised. This will give Oukro one of the largest roof mounted systems in the Netherlands. The solar roof should be operational by mid-October. Sun & Wind Energy from Schaijk is supplying the solar panels. 

Oukro processes approximately 1.5 million calfskins a year, most of which come from the calf slaughterhouses of parent company the VanDrie Group. With the solar roof, a quarter of Oukro’s total annual energy requirements will be obtained from sustainable sources. 

In 2015, Oukro was proclaimed the sustainability leader in the leather industry by CSR Netherlands. However, the sustainability ambitions of Oukro go even further. “Our business has great environmental awareness. Corporate Social Responsibility is a high priority,” states Marcel van Leent, Managing Director of Oukro. He adds, “We want to take action to improve our environmental performance and protect the environment. The solar roof will eventually generate annual savings of over €40,000 in energy costs. Sustainability and profit go hand in hand.”

Oukro has taken advantage of the SDE+ subsidy scheme. This scheme has been set up by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to stimulate the development of sustainable energy production.

The Solar Energy Taskforce, an initiative of the Municipality of Apeldoorn, has reacted enthusiastically to this development. The taskforce focuses primarily on supporting business and institutes in Apeldoorn in the realisation of their solar energy projects. Rogier Coenraads, project manager of the Solar Energy Taskforce, says, “We would like to congratulate Oukro and the VanDrie Group on the realisation of this fine solar energy system. With this one system, Oukro can meet much of its own energy needs with clean solar power." 

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