Six HUBs, 57 branch offices and of course the head office in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg: that’s how many logistics facilities and sites Hermes has. Together, they represent a lot of opportunities to plan ecologically and build sustainably.
The first and key decision for a “green” logistics provider is the location of a new facility itself - it must be easy to reach from a transportation standpoint. This makes it possible to reduce transport costs, time and CO2 emissions from the very beginning.
In the second stage, Hermes pays attention to the property and land, taking care to seal as little soil as possible.
Efficiency is the top priority as far as the buildings themselves are concerned. In 2011, the Hannover-Langenhagen HUB was the first logistics property to ever receive a silver seal of approval from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). The reasons for this included, for example, the climate-neutral heating system that uses biomass and the facility roof with 1872 solar modules spread across 7000 square meters, which will save about 3800 tonnes of CO2 during their minimum 20-year lifespan. Whenever economically justifiable, Hermes always relies on renewable energies.
The company’s northern HUB set standards for the entire Hermes organisation. Since 2011, Hermes has built a total of 18 new branches – and all of them were externally certified by the independent DGNB.
Of course, the sustainability principle is also followed inside the buildings. Their progressive power supply is complemented by innovative lighting planning as well as the creation of social spaces inside and outside the building. Plenty of daylight enlivens the workplace atmosphere.
The DGNB standard applies to new buildings, but Hermes also emphasises constant improvements to existing buildings. One example, the main computer centre, was optimised to reduce energy consumption and as a result, energy use dropped by 24 percent. Another example is an energy database that records the use of each individual branch, making it possible to recognise and eliminate unnecessary peaks in consumption.
This conscious approach to energy is not limited to the branch offices themselves, but also includes the people who work in them. Regular training sessions and internal competitions are intended to sensitise all employees to energy issues and to encourage more mindfulness in the use of valuable energy.