Warehouse and logistics provider Gazeley, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart, has committed as part of its sustainability strategy to make more than one-third of all its new developments carbon positive by 2010.
Since some of Gazeley's biggest customers include the likes of John Lewis, Morrison and Warburtons, this initiative should have a significant environmental impact on the food and drink sector.
Gazeley claims to develop some of the most advanced distribution warehouses in the world. In its 2008 Sustainability Report, just released, it has pledged that by 2010, 35% of all its developments will be carbon positive and its overall carbon emissions will be reduced by 35%.
In addition, it has pledged that half of all construction waste would be re-used or re-cycled; 70% of all sites would reuse all development storm water; 70% of all development sites would demonstrate a net gain in biodiversity and habitat; and it would use materials in developments that do not degrade human and system health.
Gazeley was also recently selected as the developer of a £50M scheme to build one of the world's greenest business and logistics parks in North Staffordshire.
Chatterley Valley will be a carbon positive development with its own biofuel micro power station. Vehicles arriving at the site will pass over kinetic plates that will produce electricity, which will be used to power electric buses and cars.
Over the past five years Gazeley says it has built 1.2Mm2 of efficient, sustainable warehouse space and as a direct result it claims to have reduced its customers' operating costs by £930,000 per year.
Two eco-buildings completed in 2007 illustrate the standard sustainability measures that go into each of the company's projects. The John Lewis building at Magna Park, Milton Keynes in the UK is said to deliver a 39% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and save £238,000 a year in operating costs. Meanwhile, the Procter & Gamble building at G Park, at Amiens in France is claimed to deliver a 56% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and save £69,000 a year in operating costs.