In early 2022, we broke ground on Levi Strauss & Co.’s newest distribution center (DC) in Europe, located in Dorsten, Germany. The 70,000 square meter (roughly 750,000 square feet) facility incorporates leading sustainable building features, inspired by Cradle to Cradle® principles. This week, the facility was recognized by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for its innovative, green logistics with the NRW.Global Business AWARD, which honors international companies for creating meaningful investments in the region, providing opportunities to support development and employment, and creating positive impact.
We caught up with Torsten Mueller, vice president of logistics at LS&Co. for Europe, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa, to learn more about the significance of the Dorsten DC in accelerating our capabilities in Europe.
Why and how have we prioritized sustainability in the development of the Dorsten facility?
Sustainability has been a driving factor and fully integrated consideration from the start. The thinking was to ensure that the DC would be built and operated according to the principles of recycling, resource conservation and zero waste. The aim is to make the ecological footprint as positive as possible and go beyond LEED Platinum certification standards, with the inclusion of materials and features like sustainably sourced concrete, vegetated walls, rooftop solar panels, a green roof and an on-site park. It’s about both driving a thoughtful approach across our supply chain and providing a great place to work for employees.
Can you tell us a bit more about the status of the project development? What are the next priorities?
Building projects of this scope and scale are always a significant undertaking, and I’m proud to say that there’s no shortage of creative thinking from the team to help drive us forward. If you visit the project site today, you’ll see a standing building with our company logo and a recently inaugurated road to the facility, where we will welcome more than 650 employees over time. We expect the center to be fully operational by this time next year. We’re currently recruiting for the facility, and open positions are available on our career page.
What is the strategic significance of the Dorsten DC?
Simply said, the DC will help us to be more agile as a company and get great product to our consumers in a timely and effective way across Europe, whether they shop online or in store. Though wholesale continues to be a big part of our business, we have the ambition of being direct-to-consumer led. With consumers shopping in more hybrid ways than ever before, our logistics center will be a key building block to ensuring a seamless shopping experience.