How logistics real estate can become sustainable and healthy

July 22, 2019

Successful companies know that everyone involved will benefit from sustainable logistics. As I see it, showing responsibility for the environment and for the welfare of employees has become an essential part of the industry.

Carbon-neutral logistics facilities

Recent examples show what options are now available when it comes to sustainability: the use of enhanced insulation and photovoltaic systems helps us save resources and allows building users to save energy. At the same time, we can employ “green energy” and make use of rainwater to water green spaces and to clean the halls. Central light and climate control systems also bring about decisive advantages. Today, these types of measures allow us to operate logistics systems so that they are carbon-neutral. Prologis recently opened the world’s largest distribution center with L’Oréal in Muggensturm—it is also carbon-neutral.

Distribution centers need to become carbon neutral, environmentally and worker-friendly.
Distribution centers need to become carbon neutral, environmentally and worker-friendly. © shutterstock / Halfpoint

Winning the loyalty of qualified staff

We should not underestimate the significance of modern, sustainable logistics facilities for potential employees. Our research team has investigated how logistics companies can create pleasant work environments to attract qualified staff and gain their loyalty.

Our four top strategies: better transport connections, more and higher quality amenities for logistics facilities, career opportunities in the logistics industry, commitment to the community, and improved building characteristics.

WELL Building Standard expanded to cover logistics real estate

The global WELL Building Standard certification system even allows us to assess how healthy and pleasant it is to work in a logistics facility according to scientific, medical, and practical aspects. My colleagues in the Netherlands have expanded the standard together with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to cover logistics real estate. They have introduced it in DC5 at Prologis Park Tilburg. In addition to large glass surfaces and a plant wall, modern technology like control sensors for air quality and room climate and biodynamically controlled lighting sensors create a pleasant working atmosphere.

Alexander Heubes

Senior Vice President & Country Manager, Prologis Germany