GLS KlimaProtect at its best: At the end of September 2020, GLS Germany opened the new EuropeanEcoHub in Essen. The facility with a current capacity of 75,000 parcels per day is a strategically important element in the GLS network, both regionally and internationally. In terms of sustainable operation, GLS in Essen is setting completely new standards – among other things with a predominantly self-sufficient power supply and a biotope for amphibians.
GLS Germany opens EuropeanEcoHub in Essen
GLS invested about 15 million euros in the construction of the site. It not only serves to expand capacities in the Ruhr area, but also has a European hub function. GLS especially handles international parcels between Germany and the Benelux countries here. The current capacity is around 75,000 parcels per day, and in an expansion stage it will rise to up to 200,000 parcels.
Deliver emission-free with self-generated solar power
On the roof of the 8,500 square metre hall, 880 powerful photovoltaic modules are installed, which produce up to 286 megawatt hours of electricity per year. A battery storage in a 20-foot container ensures that the solar energy is also available for depot operation in the early morning or late evening – especially for the state-of-the-art parcel sorting system.
In addition, GLS uses the self-generated electricity to charge electric delivery vehicles so that the company can supply Essen and, in future, other city regions emission-free. Currently there are 12 charging points for this purpose, and this number is set to rise to 40. A further 4 charging points are available for the vehicles of employees and visitors.
Using heat pump technology and rainwater
The "green" electricity also flows into the built-in air-to-water heat pump, which not only provides warmth during the cold season. In the increasingly hot summer months, it can cool the air in the halls by up to four degrees in a climate-neutral way, thus helping to improve working conditions.
Rainwater is collected on the hub premises and used as service water – for example for flushing toilets. It is also used to irrigate the 1,800 square metre green roof and to maintain the water levels in the ponds that are part of the large biotope on site.
Habitat for amphibians needing protection
On an area of almost 5,000 square metres, GLS had habitats created for newts, toads and frogs that were in need of protection. Experts collected around 3,500 animals over a period of several months before construction work began. They now live in a large biotope, which includes three professionally created ponds as well as land habitats – safely separated from the operational area by special fencing.
EuropeanEcoHub Essen – impressions of construction and operation
More about the GLS KlimaProtect programme