DHL implements net zero warehousing build programme in Europe

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DHL Supply Chain has announced that it will build 4.3 million ft2 of carbon neutral warehousing in six European markets as part of its €7 billion global carbon reduction programme announced last year.

The supply chain conglomerate aims to invest the money by 2030 which will allow it to meet its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 which it promised to achieve in 2007.

The new investment announced in November 2021 will allow the group to increase the proportion of generation of its own renewables, design all new owned and leased buildings to be carbon neutral, achieve net zero operational carbon emissions across its real estate by 2025 and electrify 60% of its last-mile delivery.

The 14 units, constructed across 10 development sites, are located in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Poland. All buildings will meet key sustainability criteria such as BREEAM Excellent and EPC A, comply with EU taxonomy and undergo a Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) assessment.

As well as helping the group to achieve its own net zero carbon goals, DHL Supply Chain is promoting its carbon neutral real estate as a way for its customers to also achieve net zero ambitions.

“DHL Supply Chain is committed to achieving 100% net zero-carbon warehousing by 2025. While meeting this goal is a clear priority for our business, net zero-carbon warehousing is also beneficial to our customers who can make significant reductions to their own carbon footprints by pursuing greener supply chains.”

Hendrik Venter, Chief Executive of DHL Supply Chain EMEA, said, “The development of 4.3 million ft2 of carbon-neutral warehouses is an important strategic step as we aim to meet our customers’ growing demand for more sustainable warehouse space in strategic markets. All assets we develop are underpinned by excellent fundamentals, be it sustainability, digitalisation, location, demographics or tenure. Connectivity or proximity to key sales markets helps us improve delivery times for our customers, while a close eye on the surrounding social factors and communities in which we operate helps us to generate attractive jobs and ensures us access to a loyal and capable workforce. These factors help us and our customers to be even more successful and lead the way into a more sustainable future.”

Allianz Real Estate will be an investor and strategic partner for the first tranche of the warehouse portfolio, acting on behalf of several Allianz Group companies. DHL Supply Chain has entered into a purchase agreement for the sale of the first half of the portfolio. Set to be completed between Q1 2023 and Q1 2024, the warehouses will represent one of Allianz Real Estate’s largest single logistics sector acquisitions, with the five facilities covering more than 2.15 million ft2.

Post-completion, DHL Supply Chain will occupy at least 85% of the facilities developed for Allianz Real Estate on long-term leases.

In the UK, DHL Supply Chain, has already achieved a 15% carbon emission reduction against a 2019 baseline. It has completed or implemented a host of measures including sourcing 99% of the electricity used across DHL Supply Chain UK’s real estate from renewable sources, smart metering to support energy management and behaviour-based continual improvement, LED lighting with day light and/or occupancy sensors, energy-efficient electric Material Handling Equipment (MHE) and high frequency MHE charging points, which use less energy and reduce charging and invested in innovative heat exchange technology for recycling energy generated within its buildings.

In addition, base-build standards for new facilities need to achieve BREEAM Very Good at the very least with many builds aimed at Excellent or Outstanding, with all owned building having carbon neutral design at the outset.

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