Sustainable European parcel transshipment – at the EuropeanEcoHub in Essen
It is the second largest GLS location in Germany – and one of the most sustainable. On 28 September 2020, GLS presented the new EuropeanEcoHub in Essen – attended by Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.. GLS invested a total of around 15 million euros in the innovative building and creates around 300 work places.
Currently, up to 75,000 parcels can be handled here per day. If required, the location can be expanded and reach a daily capacity of up to 200,000 shipments. On the one hand, the EuropeanEcoHub is vital for the expansion of GLS’s capacity in the Ruhr region: The delivery area stretches from Gladbeck to Mühlheim-Ruhr and from Duisburg to Bochum, thus relieving the GLS locations in Wesel and Dortmund.
"With its additional European hub function, Essen is also an important component in our international infrastructure," explains Dr. Karl Pfaff, Chairman of the Management Board of GLS Germany. The location serves as a European hub – especially between Germany and the Benelux countries – and ensures fast international delivery times. "Furthermore, the site sets completely new standards within the framework of our GLS KlimaProtect programme".
In Essen, GLS is pooling its experience for sustainable depot operation – and is also breaking fresh ground. Proven measures such as recyclable components, LED lamps, a rainwater utilisation system and a heat pump are integrated. During hot summer months, the heat pump can cool down the air in the halls down by up to 4 degrees Celsius in a climate-neutral way to improve working conditions.
Additionally, the roofs were greened over 1,800 square metres and equipped with 880 powerful photovoltaic modules. This corresponds to an output of 300-kilowatt peak or 286 megawatt hours per year. Thanks to an additional battery storage in a 20-foot container, a largely autarchic power supply is possible. The system is already designed to operate the parcel production on 160 days a year autonomously from the Essen power suppliers. Via a control screen installed in the depot, everyone can see at a glance with what percentage of self-generated electricity GLS is currently producing. Any excess electricity is fed into the grid.
The charging infrastructure for the fleet of e-vehicles is also supplied by this power. By the end of next year, GLS will use more than 20 electric vehicles in Essen – thus ensuring emission-free delivery in Essen. Charging points for visitors' and employees' vehicles are also available.
"Our Europe-wide parcel service should not only be of high quality, but also sustainable. That is why we are constantly testing and implementing new resource-saving and climate-neutral solutions throughout Europe," says Dr. Karl Pfaff. "The new EuropeanEcoHub in Essen has model character for the entire group".
… and rich in species
The location has also another unique feature: GLS has created a large biotope on an area of 4,875 square metres. In three pond complexes and various land habitats, six species of newts, toads and frogs requiring protection have their place. The biotope for species conservation is also irrigated by the rainwater utilisation system. Special fencing separates the approximately 3,500 animals from the operation area.
In the factsheet you will find figures, data and facts about the Essen GLS location.