Tuesday 22nd Aug 2017 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Green warehouse initiatives may offer cost advantages

Where once a prudent manger would look to transport accessibility and a ready source of employees as key criteria in locating a new distribution centre, new factors now need to be taken into account.

According to Edward Joslin of UK property advisor sbh.uk: ‘It’s pretty certain that the cost and availability of fuel and water are going to become steadily more critical in the future. So any prudent planning process should reckon on costs rising faster than inflation, with the possible threat of restrictions on use.’

The benefits of technologies such as Building Management Systems to control lighting, heating and other forms of energy use are already comparatively well known. But events may drive companies to consider other technologies not yet in mainstream thinking – and which, while incurring higher initial costs, may well prove more economic in the long run.

These include solar energy, combined heat & power systems, and Forty-eight countries have policies to promote renewable power regeneration. The feed in law is the most common existing policy whereby electricity generated from renewable sources is fed into the national grid at a guaranteed price and is bought back at a much lower pricerainwater harvesting. Developer Gazeley has many of these systems as standard across its schemes throughout the UK and Europe. It has used state of the art photovoltaics in its 43,000 sq m facility for DHL in Alovera (Guadalajara) in Spain. The electricity produced over a year will be able to run 220 households.

According to Jonathan Fenton Jones of Gazeley, 48 countries have some form of policy to promote renewable power regeneration. The feed in law is the most common existing policy whereby electricity generated from renewable sources is fed into the national grid at a guaranteed price and is bought back at a much lower price thereby making it worthwhile to invest in power generators such as photovoltaics. These systems are working in Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Jones said that Gazeley promotes a variety of eco initiatives that are provided to its customer at no extra cost. On a Pan European basis these include: spray taps, waterless urinals, low flush volume wcs, recycled yarn carpets, organic paint, recyclable floor coverings, DSG wall partitions and ceiling tiles, T5 lighting to offices, local provenance vegetation, and storm water collection.

Where the company has been most innovative is in the UK. It has helped John Lewis to reduce its carbon emissions by 66.5 per cent a year. In addition it is also helping to save €171,367 a year on the building’s operating costs.

Joslin said: ‘Few companies will need or could justify all the new environmental technologies that are becoming more understood and accepted. But it would be unwise not to at least open minds to consider every avenue to ensure that the viability of the warehouse or distribution centre will not be overly compromised by either rising costs or disruptions in the future to what are seen to be key services.’

Gazeley has signed an agreement with Eroski to build a 25,000 sq m logistic distribution centre in San Agustin de Guadalix near Madrid.

The building will incorporate cold and frozen facilities and will have the latest eco initiatives available. The project comes with a budget of €35 million.

The new facilities will be used as a distribution centre of cold and frozen products for all the centre area stores and the staff will be composed of around 160 people.

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