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04/19/2022

Walmart Canada opens sustainable — and vertical — distribution center

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Walmart Canada DC
The 300,000-sq.-ft. facility was built vertically, optimizing the land use with racking up to 66 feet.

Walmart Canada unveiled its most advanced distribution center to date, one with leading-edge technology features and a focus on sustainability.

Located in Surrey, British Columbia, the 300,000-sq.-ft.,  $175 million facility was built vertically, optimizing the land usewith racking up to 66 feet.  Ituses about half of the land mass that would be required for a traditional equivalent facility, directly reducing its overall carbon footprint.  

The center is part of Walmart Canada’s $3.5 billion investment to generate growth and speed up the flow of products through the company’s supply chain across Canada.The new DC  uses technology from Witron, a German logistics solutions company, that allows it to complete as many as 150,000 order picks per day, improving the efficiency and speed of distribution while requiring less physical effort from employees. It will ship pantry items, fresh and frozen grocery goods to 45 Walmart stores in British Columbia,  reducing  the company’s long-haul trips from Alberta.

SUSTAINABILITY

The Surrey facility, which is slated to become a zero-waste facility, will also serve as a future hub for Walmart’s electric semi-truck fleet. The buildingincorporates an array of sustainable features, including an HVAC system designed to reclaim heat rejected from the refrigeration system and leverage it in radiant under floor heating.  Large windows throughout the facility promote natural light in the perimeter.

Other sustainable features include:

  • LED lighting and intelligent controls, which can reduce energy consumption by 70%;
  • An efficient refrigeration systems  that uses environmentally preferable CFC free carbon dioxide (CO2);
  • Special fans to maintain temperature throughout the facility;
  • Recycled content in building materials, including recycled glass countertops in the lunchroom;
  • Natural filtration systems for water to protect the local waterways and fish hatchery in the vicinity; and,
  • 18,000 new plants on-site.

“We’re incredibly proud of our new sustainability-focused and technology-enabled distribution centre in Surrey,” said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO, Walmart Canada, which operates more than 400 stores. “Facilities like this one are an investment in the community, our associates and customers and allow our suppliers to get their products into the hands of Canadians across the country even faster.”

Earlier this month, Walmart Canada announced plans to opena state-of-the-art 140,000-sq.-ft.supercenter with sustainable features, including a 125,000-sq-ft. green roof, at the Marche Central shopping center in Montreal, Quebec. The st ore is set to open in summer 2023.