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The Green Quarters - How Intersport Elverys are re-defining Green Distribution

At Intersport Elverys, we believe in making our IMPACT felt at the very source of our business – our Distribution Centre.

Situated in Castlebar, Co Mayo, our Distribution and Support Centre, otherwise known as our HQ, is over 60,000 SQ FT in size and caters for over 200 employees on any given week.

The building is in operation six-days per week, over 300 days a year and is the heartbeat to our 47 stores nationwide and busy eCommerce website.

This scale does not come without leaving a large footprint on the environment, of course, and we’re very conscious of that.

That’s why we’ve introduced and invested heavily in areas where we feel we can have the biggest IMPACT in reducing our carbon footprint.

They are:

  1. Water
  2. Energy
  3. Waste
  4. Distribution

distribution centre elverys

Rainwater Harvesting

Did you know, there are over 200 days of rain per-year in Castlebar on average. That is anywhere between 38-75 inches!

However, at Intersport Elverys we believe there is a silver lining in every dark cloud and in this case, a simple, impactful and scalable solution to a widespread problem in Ireland – water conversation.

Water Waste is one of the biggest issues impacting the environment in Ireland right now and 40% of Europe’s water is used by industry and agriculture. One of the biggest usages of water per person is flushing toilets. According to Irish Water, an average person can flush the toilet from 3-8 times per-day. One flush takes approximately 6 litres of water from a modern-day toilet flushing system.

We’ve estimated that our DC requires approximately 3600L of water per-day just to flush our toilets.

Our solution? We installed a rain-water harvesting system to help alleviate our impact on water.distribution centre elverys

It consists of 2x5000L storage tanks and a water collection funnel from our DC’s roof that is the sole provider to our toilet systems.

In order to keep the tanks replenished, they require .7mm of rain on avg. per day; Castlebar receives between 2.7mm-3.4mm per-day.

By year end, Intersport Elverys is saving over 1 MILLION litres of water from the mains supply from our toilet flushing systems alone.

Solar Energy

From a natural resource we get plenty of, to a natural resource we get very little of – sun!

But despite our lack of sunshine, Intersport Elverys is huge believers in the power of solar energy.

A big building lack our Distribution Centre requires big power – over 200,000 KwH per year, which is over 100 Irish households yearly energy usage.

To alleviate our energy footprint, and as part of our wider solar energy project, we invested over €1 MILLION into PV solar panels in Castlebar for both our Distribution Centre and Recycling Centre.

distribution centre elverys

We now have the potential to power our DC with up to 50% clean renewable energy by year end 2023 with the help of 640 solar panels.

In times of low consumption, any energy over produced feeds back into the national grid.

In our Recycling Centre, we have installed 60 solar panels and a small storage battery to power our waste management facility, which you can check out here, along with 6 EV charging points for staff members to use.

In 2022, our Recycling Centre was a net-producer of energy – sending more back to the grid than it required. In total, 1800 KwH was sent back to the national grid – enough to power 40% of one Irish household for a whole year.

In the image below, you will see an example of the energy usage of our Recycling Centre taken on an overcast Tuesday afternoon.

By the end of 2023, our solar energy system will have saved over 123 tonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. While we are expecting a return on investment in 7-8 years.

Furthermore, all energy we take from the national gird is 100 renewable thanks to our partnership with Energia.

Recycling Centre

Our Road to Zero Waste begins at our Distribution Centre in Castlebar.

When we sat down to begin that journey, our analysis found that our waste footprint is quite impactful – 47 stores and a large DC will do that.

But a strong start is half the task.

That’s why we invested approximately €1 million into a purpose-built recycling centre capable of handling all our recyclable waste, including:

  • Cardboard
  • Plastics
  • Plastic strapping
  • Paper
  • Polystyrene
  • Timber pallets

In 2022, we recycled over 140 tonnes of cardboard, 7 tonnes of plastics and 250kg of polystyrene. Check out our impact below from our waste partner, Envirogreen.

Reusable Pallet Boxes

As part of our Sustainability journey, Intersport Elverys have introduced a sustainable, collapsible box to get our product from our DC to out stores in order to reduce our footprint further.

The new model removes the old version (left) with the new (right) and in doing removes the need for approximately 330 pallets weekly and will greatly reduce our 500kg monthly plastic film warp need.

It also allows us, through reverse logistics, to get waste from out stores back to our DC for recycling without adding to our footprint.

The boxes have a 7-year lifespan, can hold 750kg of product and are fully recyclable.

Green Distribution

As Intersport Elverys doesn’t have our own transport and logistics operation, we had to outsource the task.

We choose to partner with An Post for a reason.

They are the greenest postal provider in Ireland and the first postal service in the world to achieve zero emission delivery status to all the major cities.

They have the largest EV fleet in the country of over 1000 vehicles and are on track to be Carbon Zero by 2023.

Why is this important?

In 2022 they delivered over 100,000 orders to cities for Intersport Elverys.

Check out our Sustainability Hub HERE.