Van Remmen UV Technology, a new member of the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), offers solutions across multiple sectors. CEO Ton van Remmen connects joining NWP with linking with others to grow his business.
“I fell in love with UV 20 years ago and I still admire it as a beautiful technology with high potential to ensure clean and safe water for everyone,” says Ton van Remmen, CEO of new NWP member Van Remmen UV Technology.
The move to join NWP and access its network is part of the company’s plans for expansion. “Our technology is very versatile. It is like an easy going friend – it fits in with everything. I really believe in joint ventures, cooperation, and sharing knowledge and experience, so as to supply the best solution,” he says. “We want to grow the company and want to do so by working with partners that have the same values.”
Ton van Remmen trained as an irrigation water management engineer. After working for a consulting company in several countries, he moved into UV water treatment, first working for a start-up business in the Netherlands and then taking it over in 1999.
The basics of UV’s ability to kill microorganisms and thus its suitability for treating water in all kinds of situations are clear. But Van Remmen often sees that UV is used without a full understanding of how best to use it, especially the interaction between the UV dosage and the actual flow conditions of the water being treated. “It is more complicated than you think if you want to use it properly,” he says.
“To offer a proven solution to the customer we validate our UV systems with bio dosimetry,” he continues, adding that the systems have a very low carbon dioxide footprint.
One of the sectors Van Remmen UV Technology works in is greenhouse irrigation systems. The company has partnered a supplier of technology for greenhouses that works around the world. His company supplies the UV treatment technology for its irrigation systems. “Of course you have to pay the price, but we guarantee that it will perform as we promise,” he says.
To expand his business, Van Remmen is looking to Europe in particular, and adds that his company also has oxidation technology to complement UV treatment. European countries often need to improve treatment because of substances such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Similarly, in Asia, where the company has already established some contacts, Van Remmen notes the situation in countries such as Vietnam. “It is difficult to find groundwater that is not polluted, so this technology is very much needed to make the groundwater safe for drinking,” he says. More generally, Van Remmen also sees a global need for better wastewater treatment to help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.
Van Remmen identifies several strengths of NWP that encouraged him to join. One is its approach to organising activities that support its network. “NWP is very much service driven,” he says. Another is its close connection to politics and government. “I believe that if you really want to achieve something, it is very important to have both the technological and the political aspects in its application,” he says.
A further aspect relates to the challenges of working internationally and the fact that the company does not have its own legal department. “For small-medium enterprises, things become complicated as the company internationalises. I think NWP can play a role here and help guide us in what to do and what not to do,” he says.
Van Remmen’s approach is to build a strong business governed by certain values. “We want to stick to our beliefs and they are that we want to do the right thing, with the right components, the right materials, and so on, and provide validated, proven solutions. Of course we have to do business and be a sustainable family company. Our goal is to dedicate ourselves to moving the world a few steps forward and this is where we want to put our energy.”
Van Remmen also sees that his company cannot progress alone. “We definitely need partners, as we can’t do it on our own. Working with partners that have the same mission and values is very important for us.”