25th June 2021

Olympic champion unveils gold-standard eco-parcel depot

Double Olympic and nine times world champion track cyclist, Victoria Pendleton has officially opened parcel delivery firm DPD’s new Bicester eco-depot, developed by Tritax Symmetry. The facility is DPD’s most sustainable facility in its UK network to-date.

As well as receiving a tour of the state-of the-art operation, Pendleton also launched the depot’s green travel plan which includes 10 DPD branded cycles which will be available for staff to use when traveling to and from the depot.  The travel plan aims to help reduce local congestion, and single occupancy car journeys.

The 60,000 sq ft hub at Symmetry Park, Bicester is DPD’s first ‘net zero carbon in construction’ building, as regulated by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).  The new facility will see the firm relocate its existing staff from the current DPD operation in Bicester, and once fully operational, the giant distribution centre could create up to 250 new jobs.

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, 517 m2 of solar panels (25% of useable roof area), while the design and building materials used help deliver a 70% improvement in airtightness.

The site also boasts 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 facility is part of DPD’s strategy to be the most responsible and sustainable city centre delivery company and a leader in the move to electric vehicles in the UK.  In May the firm announced the roll-out of a major new air quality monitoring programme across 6 of the biggest cities in the UK.  While in October 2020, DPD confirmed plans to deliver to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK entirely with zero and low-emission delivery means by 2025.

The new distribution centre, with its larger EV fleet, means that Oxford is set to be the first of those 25 locations to go live and DPD’s first ‘green city’, served entirely by all-electric, zero emission delivery vehicles.

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 are 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; 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 ten 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 centre and it is a concept we are keen to follow elsewhere.”

Tom Leeming, development director at Tritax Symmetry commented: “This facility sets the benchmark for DPD’s future depots and is the first project to have been delivered following our recent announcement that all of our new buildings within our portfolio will be built to net zero carbon in construction in line with UK Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. DPD’s sustainable values mirror our own and we are extremely proud to have been chosen as their development partner.”

Full details of all of DPD’s sustainability initiatives can be found on its dedicated green website.

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