Nippon Express goes green

  6 April 2021  |    News

The spring edition of the Dutch business magazine Haarlemmermeer INTO Business featured an interview with Martin Schenkels of Nippon Express. Within, he spoke about the company’s new distribution centre at Schiphol Trade Park. Not only will it be kitted out with the newest facilities for pharmaceuticals, it will also utilise far-reaching sustainability measures, all clearly set out in a Value Added Plan. And this isn’t just about standard measures. Nippon Express has stuck its neck out, developing a future-proof building that pushes the limits for its employees and the environment. The building is set to be delivered in June 2021. Read the entire interview below.

“My colleagues and I can’t wait to move into our new distribution centre,” says Martin Schenkels, Deputy General Manager of Nippon Express. “It’s a dream come true. We’ve been working on plans for a more spacious facility for our growing business for years. President Masahiro Murakami and Vice-President Ruud Drijsen, together with alderperson Marja Ruigrok, drove the first pile on the site last year. Now we’re just waiting for the moment when we’re finally handed the keys to our beautiful, sustainable premises at Schiphol Trade Park!”

Value Added Plan

The state-of-the-art building for this international logistics provider really is a thing of beauty. Surrounded by greenery and overlooking the Geniedijk in Haarlemmermeer, it will be equipped with all the latest innovations and overflowing with carefully considered sustainable solutions. The entire complex is energy neutral, uses LED lighting, is properly insulated, will be largely demountable, has solar panels and is heated by a gasless water pump. All of its sustainability measures were drawn up by Nippon Express in consultation with SADC – the area developer of Schiphol Trade Park – and set out in a Value Added Plan. This plan includes measures that evidently go a step beyond existing standards. The building is also fitted with large windows to make the most of natural light.

“Of course we had already taken into account things like a ‘club’ – a meeting place for all employees – and spacious workplaces with sufficient privacy,” says Martin. “And modular construction practices make scaling up and down easier. Previously, working from home wasn’t common within our company, but we’ve made a switch because of the coronavirus pandemic. And we do see that it meets a certain need, so it’s nice to be flexible – now and in the future.”

Corporate responsibility

“Sustainable and innovative development is very important to me,” says Martin. “I firmly believe that businesses can no longer shrug off their responsibilities. Mr Murakami and Mr Drijsen also underscore this point. A few years ago, I already began to think more about sustainability in my private life. My daughter asked me, ‘Why don’t we have solar panels on our house, Dad?’ As a result, my family and I have really taken steps forward. So I’m extremely proud that our company can now also make a more substantial contribution to sustainability. For Nippon Express, sustainability is much more than a marketing term. We want to play a significant role in establishing change in our industry and to be a few steps ahead of the market. To inspire other companies, even. That spirit, in cooperation with all the involved parties, has really produced a fantastic result.

“Of course, we sought out the opinions of our employees during the design process. I’m a real sports fanatic and love running. I think if you feel good about yourself, you perform better, and that exercise contributes to your personal happiness. So it’s really nice to pass that onto your employees. A lot of our 150 office employees live within 20 km of the premises. When we indicated that we would like to encourage staff to travel to work by bike, a common reply was: ‘okay, as long as there are showers.’ So we have added those, in addition to a beautiful green outdoor space. It makes us fairly distinctive and we expect it will also help us attract new employees.”

A top location that respects the natural environment

“This building will really help us give substance to our growth ambitions,” concludes Martin. “Especially in the pharma sector, we can now make real progress. We’ll have all the freezer and cooling solutions in-house to serve this sector effectively. Alongside that, this is also a special opportunity to add value to the environment. For example, indigenous plants will grow in our green parking garage and help to trap particulates. There’s also room for insects, birds and small mammals. With greenery around the fences, we’ll also create a more natural transition from nature to buildings. And, of course, across the flyover, we’re straight onto the A4 motorway. I’m just really proud of our new home at a fantastic green location!”

A fruitful collaboration

Laurens Schenk of Schenk Makelaars & Partners: “We have been advising Nippon Express for 20 years now, so we speak the same language. The fact that we, with a local team led by Carel van Till, were able to advise them on the choice of location for their new distribution centre is a great source of pride. On behalf of Schenk Makelaars & Partners, I would like to wish Nippon Express every success at this ultra-modern business park!”