Opening of the European Distribution Center Hitachi Data Systems Invests in Innovation, Sustainability and Employees
by Hu Yoshida on Jun 20, 2013
While the European economy is facing challenges, Hitachi Data Systems is investing in growth in Europe. Today, Hitachi Data Systems announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art European Distribution Center (EDC) in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands. This EDC will be used to distribute infrastructure products throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It will be more than two times larger than our previous distribution center in order to support our growing demand in this region and our growing portfolio of information solutions. With advanced assembly and distribution techniques, the EDC will ship most orders within a day or two.
The EDC building is about 310,000 ft2, and is energy neutral. It is the largest unsubsidized solar project on a single building in Europe with approximately 220,000 ft2 of the roof used for solar panels which will have a capacity of 1.4MW. The energy performance coefficient is slightly less than neutral at -0.06. Being situated in the Netherlands, in the event that energy is required from the grid, it will be provided from wind energy. The annual reduction of CO2 from the use of solar panels and other energy saving techniques like the use of ground water for heating and cooling will amount to about 1,770,000Kg of CO2. The EDC building is in the process for BREEAM certification, which is the most widely used method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings.
This EDC is ISO 14001 certified and attention is paid to reducing waste. For instance, shipping the components of a storage system within the frame reduces packaging. Since Zaltbommel is well situated in Europe most deliveries can by made by truck and the only packaging needed is a plastic sheet that protects the frame from scratches while it is strapped inside the truck. No pallets are required due to special casters on the frames, which enables the frames to be rolled into place. Once the frame is delivered, the only packaging waste is the plastic cover which can be folded up and reused for the next delivery. Compare this to the packaging waste that results from the delivery of a workstation, which may involve pallets, cardboard boxes, styrofoam, and steel banding.
The location for the EDC was chosen with consideration for our employees. It is close to our previous EDC so dislocation of our employees was minimal. It is located near a train station and a major highway for commuters. The parking lot is on the roof of a portion of the facility, which enables it to use the heat from the building to reduce accumulation of snow in the winter. This will also reduces the impact on the green space around the building. Inside the zoned climate control and lighting is optimized for the comfort of the employees. Space is set aside for locker rooms, fitness facilities and a contemplation room for health and wellness. The goal is to make this the best place to work.
This EDC also has rooms for customer briefings and will house a test center to construct proof of concept models for customers. Since this was previously done at the distribution center in the United States, this new test center will help to drive innovation and provide a more efficient route to European markets.
Customers and partners are invited to visit the center and use it as a place to develop new world-class information systems.