Riding the wave of sustainability

Sustainable Development

It was important to prove our commitment to sustainability through actions, rather than words – that’s why we chose to locate our main distribution centre in a Prologis building.

Adam Hall, Internet Fusion

This year, the theme for World Environment Day was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ - a call to action for everyone to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. As a property company that has put sustainability at the heart of its business for the past decade, we know that an increasing number of our customers share our passion for sustainability and want an industrial logistics building that helps them demonstrate their commitment to the environment. This is the story of one such customer and how their new logistics building on Prologis Park Kettering is helping them drive sustainability and reduce their impact on the environment.

If any group is acutely aware of the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, it’s the surfing community. Since the early 1990’s, surfers have been campaigning to make UK beaches cleaner and greener places. In the early days raw sewage was the main problem but today, the biggest problem, by far, is plastic pollution.

Riding the Wave of Sustainability

Watch this video and find out why today’s industrial logistics buildings have a key role to play in the creation of responsible and resilient supply chains.

Our customer, Internet Fusion, is one of the UK’s leading e-retailers and owns a number of the largest outdoor clothing and equipment brands, including Extreme Pie, Blackleaf and Surfdome.  In 2015, Surfdome eliminated 74% of plastic packaging from its operations in just one quarter in response to the marine plastic crisis and continues to reduce plastic packaging across all its brands. However, for Internet Fusion, that wasn’t enough: the company wanted to demonstrate sustainability across its entire supply chain, including the warehouse in which it stored and shipped its products, as Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability at Internet Fusion explains:

“Global climate change isn’t just threatening future generations, it’s something that is happening right now and at an increasing rate,” Adam said. “Our customers are surfers, snowboarders  and people who enjoy and respect the great outdoors. They experience first-hand the effect that global warming and plastic pollution is having upon the environment and, for us, it was important to prove our commitment to sustainability through actions, rather than words – that’s why we chose to locate our main distribution centre in a Prologis building.”

Thanks to our partnership with sustainability certification programme, The Planet Mark™ and environmental charity, Cool Earth, the sustainability benefits of a Prologis building in the UK begin before the building has been completed. In this case, Internet Fusion’s building mitigated 110% of the carbon involved in the construction of the building by protecting 124 acres of Peruvian rainforest. This is an initiative which puts indigenous people in charge of precious local resources, helping them to act as custodians of the rainforest and protect the area from deforestation. In addition to protecting an area of the rainforest for future generations, the building also had its whole-life carbon impact officially certified by The Planet Mark™ - put simply, this means that the building’s carbon footprint and environmental performance were measured and reported, giving Internet Fusion a benchmark from which they can continue to reduce plastic and other waste as part of their activities within the building.

Surfdome eliminated 74% of plastic packaging from its operations in just one quarter in response to the marine plastic crisis

As the long-term owner of the buildings we develop, we design with the future in mind, including passive measures such as insulation, air tightness and daylighting to ensure that unnecessary energy usage is avoided. The result is a building which is setting new standards in this sector thanks to a state-of-the-art fit out which enabled Internet Fusion to save money and the environment from the first day of occupation. The building has a BREEAM Rating of ‘Very Good’ and an EPC rating of ‘A’.  A rooftop solar array also enables Internet Fusion to make use of free ‘green’ energy whilst a grey water system makes use of rain water.

Internet Fusion had no intention of stopping there, however, and has already built on the sustainability features of the building, adding a 100% renewable energy electricity contract which only sources electricity from wind, sun and hydro power and a 100% bio and frack-free gas tariff that only buys gas from the breakdown of organic matter. The company has also installed a high efficiency LED lighting system with sensor controls to limit energy use and will be a ‘zero to landfill’ site.

“We are massively proud of our brand-new warehouse,” Adam explains. “it’s a shining example of how businesses should operate in 2018 and beyond, with a long list of accolades that we plan to build upon”