The Goal: Climate-Neutral Logistics Properties

For the 11th time, Prologis is listed on Corporate Knights’ prestigious index of Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the Word. Sustainability has long been a driving part of our business, and we are now are moving toward climate-neutral logistics properties. 

Demand for logistics properties is high in Sweden. Driven by e-commerce's need for inventory management, the vacancy rate in the industry is at historically low levels, especially in important logistics locations, which drives the pace of new construction.

 “Sustainability is starting to become a common factor in the industry, which is why we want to take it a step further. So we have built our first climate-neutral logistics property,” says Gunnar Gillholm, vice president, market officer at Prologis, the global leader in logistics real estate.

The climate-neutral property is a new logistics facility of over 100,000 square meters in Germany, created in close collaboration with the customer L'Oréal. In addition to energy-saving insulation and smart LED lighting, the building has 7,400 solar cells with a maximum power of 2 megawatts and supplementary wind power. On the roof, plants provide bird habitat and control water flow into stormwater drains. The building also recycles rainwater for use inside the building.

 “The project shows how far you can go today with a customer with really high ambitions,” says Gillholm.

The German model could be built in the Nordic countries for customers with similar ambitions. Some elements are already present in Scandinavia. For example, all of Prologis’ new facilities are accredited as BREEAM “Very Good” and include smart and energy-efficient LED lighting.

Facilities in the Nordics are also built with solar cell installations by customer request. Gillholm explains, “Swedish regulations for solar cells are an obstacle. The German plant, which produces 2 megawatts, is eight times larger than today's Swedish plants. But with adjustments in the regulatory framework, we could probably see more facilities similar to the German one here in Sweden, as well.”

A growing number of new logistics properties equipped with sustainable solutions offer big potential environmental savings. Today's logistics premises are heated and also often make use of electrically powered technology, such as autonomous vehicles, robots and more. For Prologis, which manages the entire chain—from construction, leasing and management—the gains from making a building less dependent on external electricity are obvious.

Gillholm says, “There are areas in Sweden today that have problems with the electricity supply to newly built properties. Here are great opportunities to use the surfaces to produce maximum power. Regulations are the only limiting factor. ” He continues, “Prologis’ strength is that we are active in 19 countries and have a very flat organization, which makes it easy to exchange knowledge and experience between the countries. This has benefited Swedish customers, who have been able to get solutions that have already been tested elsewhere in the world. But there are solutions that have not yet reached this point.”

“Here in Sweden,” says Gillholm, “we havn’t used all the solutions available around water management. For example, we don’t take advantage of the large roof surfaces to control water runoff to stormwater drains and to recycle rainwater. There is more to do there.”

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