Above the rooftops of Berlin, Isabelle Armani, Senior Sales Manager at ORIS Materials Intelligence, was able to talk to Oliver Krenz, Head of the Sustainability Program at Autobahn GmbH des Bundes, about their joint collaboration.
As a B2B/B2G platform, ORIS offers builders and planners the opportunity to compare different variants of an infrastructure based on several criteria, such as material and water consumption, durability, climate resilience, greenhouse gas emissions or costs, taking into account the locally available materials, the applicable regulations and climate models. This is possible for projects in planning as well as for assessing projects that have already been implemented.
In 2022, three pilot projects were carried out with the Autobahn GmbH, which became aware of the French start-up at DB mindbox. Up to 15 more joint projects are planned this year. Oliver Krenz attaches particular importance to selecting diverse projects. In concrete terms, this means that these are in different regions, planning stages and include different infrastructure structures such as bridges, tunnels and rest areas.
But what significance does the topic of sustainability actually have for the federal Autobahn GmbH and what challenges does it face when expanding the infrastructure?
Oliver Krenz first explains that the road is by far the most important mode of transport in Germany for society as a whole and will remain so for a long time to come. Traffic continues to grow, but fortunately this also applies to the share of low-emission e-mobility. In addition, in the controversial debate about motorways, it should not be forgotten that they are part of the critical infrastructure and enable quick connections for police, fire departments and ambulances.
Of course, the Autobahn GmbH is also aware of social developments and the desire for more sustainability in the transport sector. This is also reflected not least in the demands of employees. In addition, the Autobahn GmbH is a federally owned company, which will of course make a contribution to achieving Germany's sustainability goals.
The Autobahn GmbH itself is still a young company that was only founded in 2021 and therefore still has some startup flair. Not all resources, such as personnel or IT, are yet fully available, while the challenges in the infrastructure area are already huge. The infrastructure needs to be maintained, modernized and expanded, while sustainability requirements are continually increasing at all levels - the challenges are immense.
“Sustainability doesn’t work without innovation,” says Oliver Krenz.
This implies that innovative solutions are needed to meet the challenges of the future, be it climate change or the shortage of skilled workers. ORIS offers a unique combination of engineering knowledge specifically in road construction and in the calculation of CO2 emissions. The ORIS calculation method has been independently checked by Intertek and the corresponding DIN standards have been taken into account. Overall, this leads to a high level of transparency when calculating greenhouse gas emissions from infrastructure structures. ORIS is a previously rare and tailor-made industry solution. For this reason, the interest and acceptance of ORIS in the Autobahn GmbH branches is very high. Knowing where emissions are emitted and comparing different design variants over time provides a well-founded basis for decision-making with a focus on sustainability. It also provides valuable data for sustainability reporting.
What Oliver Krenz particularly appreciates about working with ORIS is the team's good industry and specialist knowledge. “I feel like we are all pulling together to lay the foundation for greener road construction,” he added. The Autobahn GmbH and ORIS work so well together because there is a strong focus on the sustainability of the infrastructure on both sides.
We can only confirm this and thank Oliver Krenz very much for the pleasant exchange!