DPD’s latest UK depot, in Bicester, Oxfordshire, has been opened by double Olympic and nine times world champion track cyclist Victoria Pendleton. The facility is claimed to be DPD’s most environmentally sustainable yet. The company has also launched the depot’s green travel plan, which includes 10 DPD-branded bicycles that will be available for staff to use when traveling to and from the depot. The travel plan aims to reduce local congestion and the number of single-occupancy car journeys.
The 60,000ft2 hub at the town’s Symmetry Park is DPD’s first ‘net zero carbon in construction’ building, as regulated by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). The firm will relocate its existing staff from the current DPD operation in Bicester. Once fully operational, the distribution center could create up to 250 new jobs.
The courier states that low-energy and zero-carbon design principles were incorporated into the scheme from the start, resulting in a projected 40% reduction in carbon emissions in the building’s operation, 10% reduction in heating and cooling demand and 5% reduction in energy demand.
The building design incorporates air source heat pumps for heating and cooling, and 517m2 of solar panels (25% of the usable roof area). The design and building materials help deliver a 70% improvement in airtightness.
The site also features 30 electric vehicle (EV) charging points with ducts provided to the service yard and car park for future installation of further van and HGV charging points. The Bicester operation currently has 16 EVs, with an additional 33 of DPD’s latest electric vans due to arrive in the next few weeks.
DPD’s head of CSR, Olly Craughan, commented, “The new Bicester DC will be the greenest and most sustainable facility in our UK network. It is an incredible building in its own right, but what it allows us to do is probably even more significant. We serve a wide area from Bicester, including the city of Oxford, and this larger, more up-to-date building means that not only are we more sustainable on the site, but we can also now provide an entirely green delivery service for Oxford businesses and residents.
“We have invested heavily in our regional network in the last 10 years to meet the huge increase in demand for our services. This is our 37th new, purpose-built facility in that time and by far our most ambitious. The building is a key part of our wider plan to deliver to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK by only eco-friendly means. This joined-up approach ensures we really are doing our bit to reduce emissions and congestion in and around the city center and it is a concept we are keen to follow elsewhere.”
The site was developed by Tritax Symmetry, developer Tritax Big Box’s dedicated logistics development company.