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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Leadership and Governance for Sustainability > Global Leadership

Global retail warehousing eco-template for Europe...and Walmart.

Ecotemplate design strategy applies 11 energy and water saving features to retail warehouses for no additional cost.

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Sustainable logistics property developer, Gazeley UK Limited, is trying to do what they can in their own sphere of influence -- one building at a time.

Gazeley’s standard suite of environmental initiatives is known as EcoTemplate. Gazeley’s warehouse buildings are setting a benchmark for sustainable development and delivering massive energy, water and carbon dioxide reductions in the environmental performance and operational costs of new warehouse buildings.

John Duggan runs Gazeley. They build vast warehouses for Wal-Mart and other leading retail clients. "The retail warehousing business," Duggan freely admits, "is unsustainable. Over 80 percent of goods that go into the retail machine end up in the bin in four years' time; 40 percent of truck journeys are empty."

But there are many villains in the piece. "The whole economic system is unsustainable in terms of how we do it at the moment," he says. So Duggan has been working from within -- to clean up his own corner of the system.

Together with U.S. eco-architect Bill McDonough and U.K. photovoltaics specialists Solarcentury, Gazeley has developed an "eco-template" for environmentally friendly warehousing.

Occupiers pay no more than what they would for an unadorned tin roof and four walls, but get 11 energy- and water-saving features fitted as standard. These include solar thermal heating, storm water collection, energy-efficient lighting, recyclable floor coverings, water-saving toilets and timber from sustainable sources. All developments also feature some other renewable technology, such as ground source heat pumps, photovoltaics and wind turbines.

'Eco' in the eco-template stands for 'economical' as well as 'ecological.'

The "next stage" of environmental design for Gazeley is zero carbon and zero waste; an industrial system which mimics nature in that all waste becomes "technical nutrients. Realistically, we all share the same planet.

Gazeley's first U.K. eco-template warehouse in Bedford hosted a press conference calling for renewables in all new major property developments.

"It’s a 20-25 year project at least to tackle these issues," he says. "Who knows if we have that time?"

Commitments from Gazeley
We are all aware that our activities damage our environment. We need to reverse this decline to ensure that our businesses can thrive and future generations can enjoy as good an environment as we have today, if not better.

To our customers
Our goal is to achieve “carbon neutral” warehouses in the quickest possible timescale.

Our commitment to you is to deliver the most cost effective warehouses with environmentally beneficial features included at no additional charge.

To our partners
Our commitment is to support you in strategic partnerships which deliver world class customer service. We will foster the ethos of innovation and improve the environmental characteristics of the warehouses we jointly deliver to our customers.

To our stakeholders
Our commitment is to build a long term sustainable business. To do this the larger system of which we are part must also thrive. We strive to model environmentally beneficial development and influence others to work with nature in creating a sustainable world.

Terry Slavin, writer for the Observer, specialising in environmental issues.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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