By Pritha Dey
The introduction of climate-friendly plant on a worldwide scale is DB Schenker’s proactive response to climate change. Geothermal and solar energy and waste heat recovery are not only sustainable, but also cost-effective.
DB Schenker is constantly endeavouring to improve its own carbon footprint and help its customers achieve their climate targets. Amongst other things, this involves solutions for energy-efficient warehouses which are built and operated on a sustainable basis and which enable a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
Sofia Sets New Standards
A recent example is the new “Eco Warehouse” in Sofia. The facility has a 220-metre long rail siding and sets new standards in terms of logistics and sustainability.
The building has a state-of-the-art geothermal system and also uses an intelligent ventilation system to generate additional energy for heating and air-conditioning. The warehouse has a ten-centimetre thick layer of rigid foam insulation to keep energy loss to a minimum.
Solar collectors are used to heat the water required by the facility. Another eco-feature is the biochemical waste water treatment system which cleans the water so efficiently that it can subsequently be used to water the landscaped areas. The objective of this and all other structural measures is to ensure minimum energy losses in winter and minimum energy admission in summer.
Heat From The Earth
DB Schenker uses geothermal energy not only in Bulgaria, but also at two new locations which opened in Germany in 2011, Oldenburg and Bielefeld. Fossil energy is no longer required for heating, air-conditioning or hot water supply at these buildings.
Significantly Lower CO2 Emissions
DB Schenker plans to reduce its specific CO2 emissions worldwide by more than 20 per cent by the year 2020. New buildings like the one in Sofia and the conversion of existing logistics centres can achieve a significant reduction in the CO2 emissions caused by freight handling. “When planning new buildings, the focus is shifting from the question of investment costs to an analysis of the life cycle costs,” explains Andrea Schön, Environment & Green Logistics Manager of Schenker AG in Essen.
This applies not only in Europe, but at a steadily rising number of locations worldwide. The terminal in Melbourne, for instance, reduced water consumption by 70 per cent by increasing the use of rainwater. Solar collectors and changing over 80 per cent of the forklift trucks to electric drive systems also led to a substantial drop in energy consumption. In China, Indonesia and Singapore, air-conditioning may only be switched on when the indoor temperature rises above 25° Celsius. Motion detectors automatically switch lights on and off.