CEO and Executive director of the UN Global Compact was impressed by a sustainable NRC project

- It is great to experience a construction site which is so forward leaning on environment and sustainability, and it shows that you can operate environmentally friendly, but at the same time economically and financially sound, Sanda Ojiambo said, during the visit.

, by Eline Dalland

Kim N. Gabrielli, CEO of Global Compact Norway, Arild Moe, CEO of NRC Group Norway together with Sanda Ojibambo, CEO and Executive director of the UN Global Compact

At Tryvann, NRC Group Norge is building a water reservoir for Oslo Municipality. The work started in February 2022 and is expected to be completed in December 2023.

Oslo Municipality placed great emphasis on environmental requirements when they chose a contractor for this job. NRC Group Norway's managing director, Arild Moe and project manager Tor Øyvind Andersen guided the guests and explained how NRC Group has worked with environment- and sustainability focus in the project.

Some of the environmental solutions chosen in the project:

  • Environmentally friendly concrete - Low Carbon Plus. The concrete construction at Tryvann consists of approximately 2,000 cubic meters of concrete. The CO2-reduction is down 48% compared to industry standard concrete.
  • Emission-free machines. The trucks run on biogas, and they use electric excavators and electric cars. The CO2-reduction is down 85% compared to trucks that run on diesel.
  • Reuse of masses. The excavated masses are reused in ski slopes and hiking trails in the nearby area - in total, 5,000 cubic meters, which has saved approximately 5-600 truck loads on the roads. The CO2-reduction is down 95-98% compared to transport to landfill.
  • Solar panels are mounted on top of the barracks. The CO2-reduction is down 100% compared to electricity from the electrical network.
  • Smooth, polished concrete surfaces to ensure a good water quality inside the reservoir, and the outside surface has an aesthetic purpose, as well as blending into the surrounding nature.
  • Restoration of nature. Moss and other vegetation have been restored and watered. Will be used to cover the roof and repair wounds in the ground around the area when the reservoir is completed.

The Tryvann-project has saved 470 tons of CO2-emissions so far. That is as much as 168 round-trip flights Oslo - Bangkok would emit or equal to nearly 10 percent of reported emissions from our Norwegian businesses.

Jukka Viitanen, Head of Sustainability NRC Group

Pro sustainable business

Sanda Ojiambo is Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, second-in-command to Antònio Guterres. She is also CEO of the UN Global Compact, which is the UN's organization for sustainable business. The organization has offices and members all over the world, including Norway. NRC Group is one of the member companies in the organisation.

- For the Global Compact, it is very important to understand what our members do and that our work and principles also make business sense for the companies. That is why it is great to visit a project like this and see how it is sustainably run and works to reduce consumption and to recycle, says Ojiambo.

Want stricter requirements

Managing director of NRC Group Norway, Arild Ingar Moe, says that the company's strategy is to build sustainable infrastructure, and that large investments have been made, including biogas-powered trucks, electric machines, and knowledge of concrete technology.

Moe is satisfied that Oslo municipality has sustainability requirements and believes that it is something that both the state and the municipalities should do to a greater extent.

- We believe that public customers must take the lead. If the municipality and state set demands to sustainable solutions in businesses, the supply chain will follow, he says, and adds that an increased commercialization of this will lead to lower prices, he says and elaborates:

- To achieve more environmentally friendly projects, one must think long-term and build expertise. As a supplier, we are concerned that the clients make demands when it comes to equipment and solutions. This means that we are building our expertise and we are building a subcontractor market and a supply chain that sees this as a market opportunity. And if we reuse the requirements in several projects, which Oslo municipality has done and say they will do in the future, then the future will be bright for this type of projects, says Moe.

- It's nice to be here at the top of the facility, says Ojiambo after climbing onto the roof of the water reservoir. I have learned a lot about new and upcoming technology, we have talked about how the concrete? here emits less CO2, and about the trucks that run on biogas, which also results in low emissions. There is a lot of reuse and recycling here, up to 99 percent, she says.

She is also interested in other sustainability goals that NRC Group Norway works on, for example social responsibility. Among other things, most of the Polish concrete workers in the company have taken professional certificates as practice candidates, paid and supported by the employer.

- I have heard about how NRC Group really invests in training the workers, giving them opportunities to develop in their profession and giving them a direction. It is a good approach to running good projects, in addition to giving the workers greater opportunities.

Learned from the visit

Sanda Ojiambo watched with interest and asked several questions when she inspected the construction site at Tryvann.

- Part of this visit is to see how the UN's sustainability goals make sense for businesses in practice, and I think this project has shown us that you can be environmentally friendly and at the same time do good work. This is just one company. We need more companies that make decisions both in the short and long term like this one do, she said.

Video from the visit

Catapult film