Nike's European Logistics Campus

Name of Company

Nike

Country of Origin

United States of America

Sector

Personal & Household Goods

Region

Global

Issue Covered

Environment

Practices

Sub Categories

Water Sustainability, Energy, Biodiversity

Background

Globally, Nike ships more than 1 billion units of footwear, apparel and equipment every year, which demands an agile, innovative and sustainable supply chain. Nike’s European Logistics Campus aims to emphasize Nike’s vision for a low-carbon, closed-loop future in which sustainable innovation is embedded into the company’s growth strategy, enabling it to maximize performance while minimizing the footprint.

Description of Program or Activity

In 2016 Nike launched the latest expansion of its European Logistics Campus in Belgium. This state-of-the-art centralized distribution facility in the center of Europe, employs more than 3,000 people, and allows Nike to serve a vast network of retailers and consumers not just on the continent, but across the world.

Sustainable innovation influenced all aspects of the facility, from the drawing board through to final construction.

 Key features of this new facility include:

• 100% use of renewable energy. The facility sources energy from five locally generated sources: wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass. Six on-site wind turbines produce enough electricity to power 5,000 households, and the on-site solar panels cover the size of three soccer fields.

• The facility is fed by an infrastructure of canals, railways and highways. 99% of inbound containers reach the local container park, by water, not road, saving 14,000 truck journeys a year. In addition, its Belgium location places it at the center of a 500km radius in which 60% of Europe’s buying power is concentrated.

• Moving away from a traditional structure that requires more steel and concrete, the warehouse is a rack-supported building, reducing waste and material used, thereby minimizing its footprint.

• More than 95% of waste generated on site is recycled. Pathways used by employees around the facility are made from recycled footwear material, whilst shipping cartons are compressed on site to reduce the amount of transportation needed and decrease CO2 emissions.

• Natural light provided by many windows, a unique daylight capture system and smart, automated LED lighting help to reduce electricity costs, reduce environmental impact and provide a more productive workplace.

• The facility was carefully designed to support biodiversity in the surrounding area. Flocks of sheep help maintain the landscaping, on-site beehives will contribute to biodiversity through the pollination of flowers in the local area, and water features assist water retention to create habitats and provide evaporative cooling.

Lessons Learned

The challenges faced in constructing an industrial facility of this size are considerable, and Nike recognizes that incremental change won’t get them to their goals fast enough.

Nike is taking best practices and learnings from the campus and apply them where relevant, as it continues to drive toward the supply chain of the future globally. For example, Nike has implemented on-site renewable energy generation through solar panels at its China Logistics Center in Taicang.

Impact

This expansion is making Nike’s European operations more efficient, more responsive and more sustainable, enabling growth by serving consumers across Nike.com, Nike retail and wholesale partners in 38 countries, all from a single inventory location. The new facility is critical to enabling Nike to process orders with incredible agility, flexibility and speed — from a single product order to 10,000.