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Nike Expands Eco-Friendly Campus in Belgium

Nike has unveiled plans to become a more sustainable company by revolutionizing how its supply chains operate worldwide. The brand has taken major strides toward their goal with an innovative expansion of its European Logistics Campus in Belgium. About 30 miles outside of Antwerp, you can find the revamped facility, which was designed by Jaspers-Eyers Architects to enable Nike to quickly process orders while actualizing the company’s longtime vision of a reduced carbon footprint. Surrounded by lush fields and the Albert Canal, the campus now runs on 100 percent renewable energy. It uses five locally generated sources, such as solar panels that have a surface area of three soccer fields and six wind turbines that stand almost 500 feet high. “Globally, we ship more than one billion units of footwear, apparel, and equipment every year, which demands an agile, innovative, and sustainable supply chain,” said Eric Sprunk, Nike’s chief operating officer.

The construction of the warehouse was approached in an unconventional way that creates a self-supporting system using storage racks, resulting in a clean but exposed interior. Traditional structures use a great deal more steel and concrete, while this method reduces the amount of materials required and waste expelled. Over 95 percent of the waste that is generated on-site is recycled.

Focusing on natural light, the building is outfitted with expansive windows and an experimental daylight-delivery system that captures sunlight and helps it to reach darker interior spaces, greatly reducing electricity costs. An aquifer thermal energy storage system takes heat from the summer and warms up the entire building during the winter, and takes the cold from winter to cool it down during the summer. Even the pathways around the campus are made from recycled footwear.

The facility is accessed by shipping containers primarily by way of water instead of road, saving the journey of 14,000 trucks per year. Thanks to this optimized transportation system, this Nike campus has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent. “Our facilities in Belgium are a pinnacle example of how sustainable innovation is embedded into Nike’s growth strategy, which enables us to maximize our performance while minimizing our footprint,” said Bert Stevens, vice president of supply chain operations for Nike Europe. “The success of this expansion is a result of excellent teamwork, with great cooperation from local and national governments, and support from many partners and the local community.”