Do logistics and sustainability really go together? It does if WDP has its way. The European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) agreed and awarded WDP with a Gold Level Award for sustainability. Marc De Bosscher, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at WDP, explains.
“There are several sustainability-related things going on at WDP. We build warehouses. In the green sector of the business world, they would call that a troublesome activity. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t contribute to being as ecologically responsible in our sector as possible and considering our footprint. We also consider that a point where we can make a difference when it comes to other companies in our sector and thus meets the demand from an important part of our shareholders.
Solar energy, LED lighting, and insulation
“Our work is based on several pillars. Lighting is one of these. We are using LED lighting in our new warehouses. We also see where this is possible in a sustainable manner when it concerns extended lease contracts and the related improvements to existing buildings. We also try to stay a step ahead of the standards on insulation and aim to do better in our specifications than what is required by the standards.”
“Our biggest pillar at the moment is solar energy. When we develop a new building, we automatically assume that there will be solar panels on the roof. During the construction phase, our Project Managers also take care of the necessary structural provisions based on the future PV installation. This is a win-win situation for us and our customer: we both reduce our ecological footprints, the rentability of the building is increased, and our customer saves on energy costs. In order to guarantee all this, we custom-design the installations for each customer and its energy consumption. So, we aren’t just building a roof full of solar panels.
"Our work is based on several pillars. Lighting is one of these."
“The growth in solar panels on our roofs is explosive, particularly in the Netherlands. We already have twenty buildings with solar panels in the Netherlands at this moment. Another five buildings are currently under construction. Together, this is worth 22.8 megawatt peak. And we have an ambitious plan for the coming years to expand this with another 37.7 megawatt peak in additional roofs on existing or new buildings. To do this, we’ve already achieved all the necessary subsidy requests and lined up the agreements. So, the preparations for this are well underway. In addition to this, there are more solar panels in Romania worth 14.5 megawatt peak, with another 2 megawatt peak in Wallonia, and another 19.5 megawatt peak in Flanders. So, across all of WDP, we are aiming for 100 megawatt peak in solar energy.”
Mickaël Van den Hauwe (CFO, WDP) receives the EPRA award
Recognition for sustainability in the annual reports
“This focus on sustainability has also become a real point in our operations. We use a heat pump in our expanded headquarters. We opted for a building that had a good energy score in our regional office in the Netherlands. Where possible, we also provide charging poles for electric vehicles. Lastly, we also have someone in our organisation who focuses on sustainability and works from a strategic perspective.”
“It says a lot that we’ve dedicated an entire chapter of our annual report to sustainability. This is only logical. We develop logistical buildings from A to Z and keep this under own management in comparison to other developers. Therefore, we can better ensure that our buildings are sustainably designed and have a long lifespan. So, our business strategy is linked to sustainability.
Moreover, we also imbue our reports with sustainability on a recognised European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) canvas, which makes us capable of supporting our reporting much more comprehensively with figures. This objective measurability recently earned us a ‘Gold Level’ recognition from EPRA for our sustainability reporting.