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TNT opens first "green" depot in the Netherlands
Adoption of sustainable solutions results in energy savings of more than 70 per cent
The exterior of this striking commercial property stands out from surrounding offices. The building is designed to allow in as much daylight as possible, reducing the amount of artificial light required. The building produces its own energy in a sustainable way. More than 300 solar panels collect sunlight and convert it into energy. Water is pumped from the ground to heat and cool the building.
The depot was designed in close collaboration with the VolkerWessels construction company. TNT required the building to be CO2 neutral in operation. VolkerWessels focused on the end users' wishes for the duration of the building project. Their concerted efforts led to creative solutions, including collecting rainwater for flushing eco-toilets and selecting low-energy coffee machines and recyclable furniture. Second-hand clinkers were used for paving. The choice of larger on-site containers for paper and non-recyclable reduces the need for emptying.
The exceptional combination of techniques and measures in one business site allows energy savings of over 70 per cent compared with a traditional depot. VolkerWessels expects other end users of sustainable business premises to choose the same solutions. TNT's green depot has been operational since mid-October and functions as a mail distribution centre for Veenendaal and its surroundings.
TNT's "Green Buildings" programme focuses on improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and building best-in-class "green" offices and depots for the mail and express division. TNT has over 3,000,000 square meters of property spread across 65 countries. Different locations and buildings mean different solutions. Hubs and depots do not pose the same constraints as office buildings. Italy's regulations and climate, for instance, differ from Sweden's. TNT must adapt to this diversity.
The first "green" office will be built in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands. All new green offices will be close to public transport stations and accessible to all TNT's employees, regardless of their division or department. The new offices will also be closer to most employees' homes, thus reducing carbon emissions from commuting traffic. TNT's new office in Hoofddorp should be ready by second half 2010.
TNT's efforts to protect the climate are grouped under the name Planet Me, a worldwide environmental programme that focuses on reducing CO2 emissions in all operational areas. The programme also aims at encouraging TNT employees to take individual steps to reduce their CO2 emissions at home and on the road.
"At TNT we encourage our employees to consider the environment in their daily lives," explains Flip Verwaaijen, Director of TNT Real Estate. "As an employer, we choose to set a good example, by showing how to save energy and to be more conscious of our impact on the environment. There are more than 140 employees at the Veenendaal site who work in an exceptional energy-saving premises. We hope to convince all our staff of the value and necessity of being more energy-aware by implementing all of these environmentally friendly measures to the full."
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