First carbon-neutral bpost premises

bpost’s new distribution centre in Evere is fully operational after the relocation of almost all teams. This carbon-neutral building – a first for bpost – is fully equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and has been designed with special concern for sustainability and climate neutrality, including solar energy, heat pumps for heating and ventilation with energy recuperation, modular LED lighting, loading facilities and rainwater harvesting.

Carbon-neutral building
Until recently, services were spread over different distribution centres in Schaarbeek, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. When the lease on the office in Schaarbeek expired, bpost decided to bring the services together at a single site for reasons of efficiency and cost. A new distribution centre in Evere was chosen. The new premises at Schiphollaan 2, 1140 Evere fulfil strict sustainability standards and offer much better working and operational conditions.

Jos Donvil, CEO bpost Belgium: “When the lease on the Schaarbeek site was expiring bpost was faced with the challenge of finding a new location that met the operational requirements of the fast-changing context of the letter and parcels market. The design naturally had to match bpost’s sustainability ambitions. We handle an increasing volume of parcels for which different standards and different operational requirements apply. We have no choice but to go all out on sustainability, so our new building had to fulfil the strictest relevant standards. We have been able to do that across the board with this new distribution centre in Evere. So I’m particularly proud for this to be our first 100% carbon-neutral building.”

The new building has a whole raft of advantages. Not only that all services can be consolidated there, but also that the building is easy to access and there is more than enough parking; there has been heavy investment in solar energy and loading facilities for bpost’s ever-growing electric fleet. The company is committed to ensuring the operational efficiency of the building benefits both employees and customers. There is the possibility to expand the building or potentially add additional loading and unloading docks, depending on future needs.

From renewable energy to green transport
Renewable energy and more efficient energy consumption
The distribution centre is not only energy-efficient, it also produces (some of) the energy it needs. Solar panels cover an area of 1236m² on the roof. The energy they produce is used to charge electric vehicles and cover the consumption needs of the activities. More than enough (100+) charging stations have been installed to keep the fleet of e-vans, e-bikes and e-bike trailers running.

Clearly, energy is consumed in a smart way. The LED lighting in the main hall is automatically dimmed (from 500 lux to 300 lux) as soon as employees leave on their rounds. All loading bays are equipped with two sets of doors to minimize heat loss.

Innovative heating and cooling systems
The state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems ensure that no fossil fuels are consumed. Heat pumps draw in ambient energy to heat the building in winter and cool it in summer, as needed. This creates comfortable working conditions for employees as well as contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.

Water management: harvesting and infiltration
Water management is another important aspect as we learn to live with the prospect of periods of great drought and excessive precipitation. State-of-the-art water management and rainwater harvesting systems in Evere ensure that the environmental impact remains limited. Rainwater from the roof is captured and harvested for showers and toilets, among other things. There is also an ingenious system that allows precipitation to slowly infiltrate into the ground. The parking spaces are surfaced with porous material, but all water on the roads is drained off to this infiltration system. It is very important to ensure that the water is not simply immediately directed to the drainage system. ​ Furthermore, this can be easily monitored, including remotely.

The very favourable location of the site promotes soft modes of mobility. It is not only easy to access by public transport, but also for those who have to rely on a car. The (future) cycle bridge in the vicinity is an extra argument for employees to opt for sustainable transport.

All postwomen and men start out on their rounds here, for the most part in electric vehicles. The fleet consists of 55 electric vans and 22 electric bikes with trailer.

This distribution centre provides all modern facilities needed to run postal activities in an efficient and sustainable way, bpost will have the site assessed for recognition as “Ecodynamic Enterprise”, a label for companies in the Brussels region engaged in reducing the impact of their operations on the living environment.

Source: bpostgroup