Jan De Nul strongly believes that innovation is the key to discover new applications for existing problems. Or simply to create a better future. In complex and challenging projects, our creativity can make a difference.
Using nature to protect biodiversity
From the very start of a project, we search for sustainable and cost-efficient solutions. In the engineering phase, we already take the protection of biodiversity into account, closely monitoring the features and performances of ecosystems. These nature-based solutions apply construction and remediation techniques that make use of natural materials. With our help, nature further develops and maintains itself.
Prins Hendrik Sand Dyke
On the Dutch island Texel, we created a new dune landscape against an old leaking dyke and a salt marsh landscape on the seaward side. This approach made the transition between land and water natural and sustainable again.
The reef ‘Coastbusters’ off the Belgian coast stabilizes the foreshore base, strengthens the ecosystem and reduces erosion. We have tested three ‘biological builders’: shellfish, seaweed and seagrasses and sand mason worms.
Underwater breakwater in Benin
For years, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean have been eroding the coastline of Benin. To protect the coast, we installed a 5 km long underwater breakwater that also serves as a coral reef. They strengthen each other in their primary function: breaking the waves and reducing their impact on the coastline.
In order to act innovatively, you have to be innovative.
We constantly adapt our equipment and techniques to keep the impact on fauna and flora as low as possible. In our commitment, we are prepared to go far. If something does not exist yet, we create it ourselves.
Sound-absorbing bubble screen
Driving piles into the seabed can cause noise pollution. We strongly dampen these sound waves by using sound-absorbing installation tools and by simultaneously creating sound-insulating air bubble screens around the vessel.
We designed our newbuild vessels Voltaire and Les Alizés as gasoil-powered vessels equipped with a highly advanced dual exhaust gas filtration system comprising a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). On top of that, Les Alizés will also be equipped with a battery that will recover energy during certain actions.
Minimal ground pressure
Our intertidal ploughing vehicle Sunfish has a ground pressure no higher than that of a human being. An ideal machine to bury export cables in nature-sensitive areas.
Vacuuming plastic particles
Historical pollution of plastic particles is a major issue. To deal with this problem, we designed the Nul-O-Plastic: a flexible and compact vacuum cleaner with a long hose that hoovers up the plastic particles in the container. Once the container is full, it is emptied in a central depot. The rubber caterpillar tracks of the machine ensures minimal impact on the soil.
How do you keep innovating in a sustainable manner?
By sharing expertise and experience, both within the company and beyond. Interaction with new and refreshing ideas encourages us to think out of the box. Jan De Nul shares its know-how and insights with educational institutions and (sector) federations worldwide.
Our internal platforms JDN Wiki and Expert Academy gives all employees immediate access to the rich variety of knowledge that is present in the company.
By connecting colleagues with different ideas, perspectives and approaches, amazing new concepts pop up.
Our internal Innovation Challenge brings colleagues from all departments together to work on their favourite innovation topic. But at Jan De Nul, don’t just imagine and think, we also act. Our in-house experts support the winning teams to further develop their ideas. To further stimulate the synergy within the company, the Innovation taskforce has been integrated in the CSR policy.
If we share knowledge, the entire sector benefits.
In several institutions and federations, we take on an advisory and executive role. We are even a founding member of The Blue Cluster, a Belgian federation that connects a total of 200 entrepreneurs, researchers and policy makers. Together we design sustainable business models, set up creative partnerships and develop groundbreaking technology within the blue economy.