Investing in energy management for sustainability

In an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change, many organizations are examining the management of resources as an integral approach to protecting the environment. This is why HelloFresh has developed long-term strategies and targets to systematically manage resource consumption within our facilities. 

At HelloFresh, we believe in driving action on climate change by reducing our carbon footprint across all our operations. This is why in 2020, one of two key environmental targets we set aims to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions from our production facilities by 60% per euro of revenue by the end of 2022 (from a 2019 baseline). More specifically, one of the ways why we are keeping this target on track is by investing in the efficient management of energy resources within our facilities.

Codifying our energy management strategy

To define our energy-related guidelines, principles of conduct, and the long-term goals we have committed to, HelloFresh defined a new energy policy and rolled it out in Germany, the Benelux, and the United Kingdom (UK). Apart from successfully enhancing energy optimization across our operations, the guideline is also a key element of our Energy Management System (EnMS), and the pair provides us with a systematic framework to structure our energy-relevant processes to achieve constant improvement in our energy performance. So far, it has been shared within multiple different markets and an awareness campaign has been conducted among employees.

One component of our energy policy involved us working to attain the ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard awarded by TÜV Rheinland after conducting an audit in our offices and distribution centers. The certification specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving the company’s EnMS, energy performance, and efficiency. In August this year, we once again received the EnMS certification for our Berlin headquarters and distribution centers in Verden (Germany), Bleiswijk (Netherlands), Banbury (United Kingdom), and Nuneaton (United Kingdom).

What’s more, in April 2022, the Berlin headquarters “Fresh Campus” received the DGNB Gold Green Building Certificate. The award is a German sustainability certification for buildings granted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB) (the German Sustainable Building Council). The DGNB System signifies that HelloFresh met all the requirements that cover crucial environmental, economic, sociocultural, functional, and technological aspects of sustainable buildings.

The headquarters of HelloFresh “Fresh Campus” is located in a DGNB Gold-certified sustainable building in Berlin.

Investing in sustainable energy production and procurement

To elevate our impact on sustainability in our facilities, we are investing in renewable energy sources, a move that positively impacts our planet and the company. The share of green energy consumed within our distribution centers and offices increased to 51% in 2021 from 36% in 2020 and 7% in 2019 - with plans to further increase the usage of green energy instead of electricity produced from fossil fuels. 

In Germany, our headquarters and distribution centers already operate on 100% renewable energy while in New Zealand, 100% of our sites are under a renewable energy contract. In the United States, 100% of our sites are either under a renewable electricity contract or covered by renewable energy certificates (RECs). Furthermore, our distribution center in Melbourne, Australia uses renewable energy generated on-site since it has been fitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations with a 600 kWp capacity to supplement already existing ones. Because in-house production can not cover the total volume of energy consumed, the center also operates on wind energy purchased from the energy grid.

We will subsequently expand the number of onsite PV panels in more of our markets, as we have just recently fitted the distribution center in Sydney, Australia with a 600 kWp PV installation as well.

We generate or purchase renewable energy for our HelloFresh production facilities.

Saving water through rainwater harvesting 

Next to energy management, water management is a topic of increasing importance for HelloFresh. One of the ways to reduce the reliance on public water supply and maximize water conservation is by setting up rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for reuse. At our production and distribution centers the “Beehive” in Nuneaton, United Kingdom, and Melbourne, Australia, we have installed rainwater harvesting systems that use the natural water supply and cut public water consumption. Over and above this, the harvesting system in Nuneaton has solar thermal panels that heat water to the offices.

Looking ahead: Energy-saving innovations at our facilities

As we continue to launch in new markets and introduce additional facilities, we envision integrating our holistic approach to resource management by implementing even more eco-design elements from the get-go for future projects. For instance, our new distribution center in Melbourne has incorporated energy-saving elements into the building’s design alongside motion sensors, timer-controlled lighting that reduces emissions from lighting requirements, and skylights on the roof to maximize natural light. Similarly, our Nuneaton production and distribution center incorporated skylights to maximize the use of natural sunlight and motion and daylight sensors to reduce the overall electricity demand.

The “Beehive” production and distribution center in Nuneaton incorporated skylights to maximize the use of natural sunlight. (Image courtesy of Goodman)

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