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Nike’s New Belgium DC Eliminates 14,000 Truck Trips Annually

Zero carbon and zero waste might be a long way off for Nike, but its new distribution center in Ham, Belgium, is the brand’s latest step to achieve its “moonshot” goals of doubling its business while halving its environmental impact and converting its production to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

The new facility’s 1.5 million square feet will be powered completely using biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind energy, according to the brand.

Thanks to new capabilities in single-order consolidation and expedited digital shipments, the brand said the Court Distribution Center is set up to “ship a single order as efficiently as an order of 10,000.”

“Our new Court Distribution Center represents Nike’s continued investment in a fast and flexible supply chain to deliver the full range of our product to consumers when they want it, where they want it,” Eric Sprunk, Nike’s chief operating officer said in a statement. “This state-of-the-art facility will increase our responsiveness as we accelerate our digital growth and better serve millions of consumers across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.”

Nike's belgium distribution center that runs entirely on 100 percent renewable energy
The facility’s proximity to a network of canals eliminates thousands of truck journeys per year. Nike

The sustainability of the Court begins with its very construction, as the facility was built as a “rack-constructed” warehouse—a method that involves building a warehouse’s racks and shelves into the very structure of the building. Nike said that this meant that the Court required less steel and concrete compared to a traditional warehouse.

A nearby network of canals also connects the Court to infrastructure beyond railways and highways, meaning that around 99 percent of the containers that move in and out of the facility can be sent by water, eliminating 14,000 truck journeys a year according to the brand. Additionally, Nike has found ways to reuse the waste it does produce during construction. Recycled footwear products now create footpaths for facility workers.

The brand said more than 95 percent of the waste generated on-site will be recycled.

The Court joins Nike’s 25-year-old European Logistics Campus, now built out into six facilities including three more in the Belgian cities of Laakdal, Meerhout and Herentals.

Last week, Nike opened another facility on its Beaverton, Ore., campus to house its Advanced Innovation team and a “state-of-the-art Sport Research Lab.” The brand dedicated the building to NBA superstar and endorser Lebron James.