Operationally Carbon Neutral Warehouse

DHL Supply Chain announces the opening of a new multi-user facility in Coventry. The new building is entirely powered by renewable electricity and is the first operationally carbon neutral new build DHL site in the UK.

The building, which has been certified as BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, features an air source heat pump which provides all the warehouse and office heating and cooling requirements. This system will save approximately 135 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to a gas-powered system. Meanwhile, 3000 solar panels, supported by a custom onsite battery storage system developed by DHL’s in-house Digital Manufacturing team, provide over 40% of the site’s electricity, and has increased energy self-sufficiency on site. The site load has been intuitively configured to use stored electricity via the battery storage solution and shift peak demand to off-peak; whilst a real time Building Management System allows continuous visibility of the system’s overall performance. The site features 30 electric vehicle charging spaces and uses all-electric material handling equipment as well as a brand new fully electric tug.

With 900,000 square feet of operating space, the site has been configured for retail and consumer brands with omnichannel requirements thanks to high-capacity racking, a state-of-the-art pick to light system and three levels of mezzanine flooring for lightweight goods. Additional automation features include autonomous cleaning robots, a mobile wrapping robot, and a dimension system to automatically measure the dimensions and volume of parcels and pallets for faster categorisation and sorting.

Natalie Frow, Managing Director Ecommerce & Retail, DHL Supply Chain UK & Ireland said: “As a warehouse that is fully powered by renewable electricity, our new Coventry operation sets the standard for the industry. The highly considered design and fit-out is centred on our three priorities, our people, our customers, and our environment. We’ve created an operation that is not only highly efficient at meeting the demands of omni-channel brands, but it’s a positive space to be in. Since opening applications for vacancies, we’ve had more candidates than any other site which really shows that we’re meeting the needs of the modern workforce and I’m delighted to be welcoming so many new people into the DHL family.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “DHL Supply Chain’s new facility at Coventry Cross Point is certainly impressive, especially in terms of its eco credentials. That’s important because the private sector’s role will be mission critical in helping us achieve our ambitions to be a net zero region by 2041.

“Two other things stood out for me. First was the state-of-the-art service being provided to business, crucial given how the supply chain is such a competitive part of the business world. Second was how this new facility is yet another example of the high levels of inward investment we are seeing across the West Midlands right now, which is providing thousands of good quality jobs for local people.”

The building has been designed with employee wellbeing front and centre. It includes biophilic interior design features to improve employees’ connectivity to the natural environment through features such as side panel windows to bring in natural light, living walls and plants, as well as the use of sustainable, recycled, and natural materials throughout the building. The site also features a contemplation room, a quiet room and a live kitchen serving freshly cooked, healthy meals.

The facility has been built in line with DHL’s Carbon Neutral Building Framework and supports DHL’s Sustainability Roadmap. By the end of 2025, all of DHL Supply Chain’s warehouses will be operationally carbon neutral.

The new warehouse is part of the expansion of the DHL Fulfillment Network (DFN) in the UK.

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