The Life Cycle of a Building: Reduce and Mitigate Carbon Emissions at Oosterhout DC1
As a logistics real estate company, it’s important to reduce the average lifetime carbon in our buildings and bring the benefits of sustainable practices to our customers, the local community and beyond. With that goal in mind, Prologis Benelux teamed up with Dutch sustainable consultancy firm M3E to pilot a carbon mitigation program at a 43,500 square meter development in Oosterhout.
Arthur van Kooij, head of project management for Prologis Northern Europe, led the pilot project for Prologis. “We look at the entire lifecycle of a building rather than just the operation phase: 50 to 70 percent of all carbon emissions related to a distribution center occur in the first two years of its lifecycle, which is mostly during construction and commissioning. We use the Planet Mark™ certification scheme. It independently determines and validates the carbon footprint and is a great added value,” van Kooij explains.
For Prologis’ pilot partner M3E, it is important to provide insight into the carbon footprint of a new development. “Knowing a building’s carbon emissions throughout its lifecycle gives a smart opportunity to work toward reducing and/or compensating for them. This is important because it helps mitigate climate change,” says Elisabeth den Boer, project manager of M3E.
Why is reducing and mitigating carbon emissions relevant for Prologis? Van Kooij explains, “Because we develop, maintain and own buildings for the long term, we are in a position to make an impact on the entire life cycle. That is why we are excited about the pilot project in Oosterhout.” Van Kooij continues, “M3E calculates a building’s carbon footprint by performing a life cycle assessment. This method considers all life cycle stages of a building, spanning some 30 years. At the end of the calculation, both the operational and embodied carbon emissions are calculated. In Oosterhout DC1, several sustainable reduction measures were implemented to reduce the overall carbon emissions. So the carbon emissions were not only compensated, but reduced as well. For Oosterhout DC1, we realized a reduction of almost 7 percent.”
Rain Forest Protection with Cool Earth
or the Oosterhout pilot, Prologis decided to bolster the reduction efforts by investing in rainforest protection through Cool Earth, a nonprofit organization that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and its impact on climate change. The collaboration between Prologis and Cool Earth started 10 years ago in the UK with an all-encompassing carbon mitigation program. To mitigate the project’s unavoidable carbon emissions, we protected over 337 acres of virgin rainforest in New Guinea. Cool Earth also provides local education about sustainability and caring for the planet. In Oosterhout, students at three primary schools participated in a fun and interactive workshop.
Our pilot in Oosterhout and exploring such measurement methods as Planet Mark™ are just a few of our sustainability initiatives. Please contact van Kooij or den Boer for further insights on the Oosterhout pilot, and learn more about Prologis’ approach to sustainable development.