Barry Callebaut unveiled a huge new logistics hub in Lokeren, Belgium the size of 12 football fields, and 41 meters high. The warehouse is the largest operations infrastructure the company has ever made and will centralise the shipping functions, taking chocolate from factories in Wieze and Halle and sending then to Western Europe and the world
Barry Callebaut collaborated with Belgium real estate developer WDP, and with the support of the city of Lokeren, which is a municipality located in the Belgian province of East Flanders between Ghent, Antwerp, and Brussels, and has a population of just 41,438. The opening of such a large facility and the creation of 120 jobs will be a big win for the small city.
The company named the building “The Chocolate Box”, which, though not imaginative, does reflect quite well its function. They were also keen to point out the green credentials of facilities, and superbly timed it to coincide with COP26. The warehouse’s sustainable features are actually quite impressive.
The facility was built using a Benelux sustainability certification called BREEAM, which describe itself as the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.
We noted on BREEAM’s website that their methodology was created to align with UN SDG’s as the infographic below shows. If you want to explore further how it works, BREAM has a nice interactive feature on its website.
The Chocolate Box is a milestone for Barry Callebaut. From Lokeren, all packed chocolate products – mainly under our Belgian chocolate brand Callebaut – will be shipped to the rest of the world. The Chocolate Box is an example of how we execute our smart growth strategy, increasing efficiency and serving our customers in a more sustainable way.Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group
Kudos to Barry Callebaut for baking in the sustainable design from the outset. From the description of activities and technology adopted, it looks like a lot of planning went into making this a showpiece of environmental construction. Some of the technology implemented Include air treatment, collecting and using rainwater, heat recovery, humidity control, special insulation, and even geothermal energy. Of course, there are solar panels on the roof.
Adding all this together actually made the building energy-positive meaning it generates more energy than it uses.
Projects like these start to reveal the strategy companies must deploy to meet their previously stated eco-commitments. For Barry Callebaut it is a positive step towards meeting their statement to be carbon net-zero by 2025.