REI New Distribution Center Is Both Energy and Workflow Efficient
As Seen in RIS News Magazine, October 2016
“We are choosing to open-source the design of this distribution center because we believe it is a stake in the ground for green building and can change how companies think about the impact that operations have on the environment — something we could not have achieved without our partners,” said Rick Bingle, REI’s vice president of supply chain. “We love the outdoors, so we approached this project as an opportunity to find new ways to reduce our use of natural resources while also making a positive, lasting impact on local outdoor places. We believe that investing in sustainability is not only good for people, places and the planet, but it’s also a smart business decision that creates measurable value. We think this project shows that we can push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
REI is driving sustainability and efficiency at its new distribution center in several new ways:
REI’s omnichannel one-touch fulfillment system combines retail and customer orders at each workstation, enabling one person to process items eight times faster than the typical distribution center. The system is fully powered by renewable energy and will support more than 40% of the co-op’s sales—reaching approximately 36% of customers and 41% of the total retail volume.
The co-op achieved net-zero energy by installing a 2.2 megawatt solar array on the roof that produces enough energy to power the entire facility — equivalent to powering 390 homes for one year. The size of the solar array was modeled to ensure the system would produce enough energy on-site, while still allowing for skylights to provide natural light at workstations throughout the building.
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