In hopes of a more efficient and sustainable operation, American sportswear giant Nike recently unveiled a new distribution center in Europe. The latest expansion of Nike’s European Logistics Campus, spanning four locations in Belgium, is one of a kind; the center will be powered entirely by renewable energy generated by five on-site sources: wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass.
With nearly 3,000 employees, the new center--as a single inventory location--will serve customers and business partners in 38 countries not limited to Europe, but across the world.
Surrounded by six on-site wind turbines producing electricity enough to power 5,000 households, the new center is also installed with on-site solar panels covering the size of three soccer fields. Even with highly-productive power facilities, the campus is still embedded with a daylight capture and automated LED lighting system to cut down electricity cost and environmental impact.
Another highlight of the new center is its transportation and logistics method. Fed by an infrastructure of canals, railways, and highways, the center will have over 99% of its inbound containers arrive by water, saving an estimate of 14,000 truck journeys a year.
Eschewing traditional materials like steel and concrete, Nike’s new minimum-footprint warehouse is a rack-supported building, with pathways made from recycled footwear material. In addition, more than 95% of the waste of the facility will go to recycle.
The new distribution center is designed to be an inviting and diverse biocycle, which taps herds of sheep to maintain the lawn and beehives to pollinate flowers.
“Our facilities in Belgium are a pinnacle example of how sustainable innovation is embedded into Nike’s growth strategy, which enables us to maximize our performance while minimizing our footprint,” Nike Europe’s supply chain operation vice president Bert Stevens said in a statement. “The success of this expansion is a result of excellent teamwork, with great cooperation from local and national governments, and support from many partners and the local community.”