Sustainability

Inside US Foods’ new eco-friendlier distribution center

The 355,000-square-foot facility encompasses a variety of sustainability measures, from its construction and design to the operations of its fleet.
US Foods warehouse
Interior of new Sacramento distribution center / Photo courtesy of US Foods

US Foods announced the opening of its 70th distribution center, which the company says is its most environmentally conscious to date.

The 355,000-square-foot facility in Sacramento, Calif., encompasses a variety of sustainability measures, from its construction and design to the operations of its fleet.

These aspects aim to support US Foods’ goal to reduce the environmental impact of its operations, according to Dan Geissbuhler, the company’s area president for Northern California.

The new facility features energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally optimized HVAC systems and refrigeration systems that do not use water for evaporative cooling. Additionally, the company expects to supply 40-50% of the building’s energy needs with solar array installations, to be installed later this year. It is also in the process of becoming LEED certified.

“To achieve LEED certification, a project earns points by adhering to requirements and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor environmental quality,” said Geissbuhler. “Our Sacramento facility is currently undergoing a verification review process with the GBCI [Green Business Certification Inc.] for a Silver certification that requires 50-59 points.” 

The distribution center has 27 compressed natural gas trucks fueled by renewable natural gas as well as an onsite fueling system that will provide renewable diesel to the facility’s fleet. Renewable diesel has a carbon intensity rating more than 65% lower than traditional diesel, the company said.

Inside the facility are foodservice products, fleet maintenance operations, a full-service demonstration kitchen and a training center for customer product demonstrations. Additionally, it features an interactive technology center where customers may learn about the company’s business solutions.

Geissbuhler said he expects the facility to generate efficiency as well as improve the customer experience.

“The location of the new facility will bring us closer to our growing customer base in Sacramento and the surrounding area, so we’ll be able to reduce the miles driven to reach those customers,” he said.

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