3663 First for Foodservice has merged its Kent operations to create a flagship environmentally-sensitive, sustainable multi-temperature food distribution hub at Paddock Wood to supply its foodservice customers in London and the south east.
The new £17.6-million facility replaces one depot at Edenbridge and two in Sevenoaks and has been designed to accommodate new and existing business and will offer 6,500 product lines including goods from local producers in Kent and the south east inn line with the company's local sourcing initiative.
Its design ensures the highest level of operational efficiency and the most eco-friendly method of working. There are storage facilities for chilled, ambient and frozen foods; ample loading docks; parking for more than 90 HGVs and 200 cars, plus a three-level office building and staff facilities, including a 60-seat cafeteria.
Materials on the site were reclaimed and re-used as the basis of the new building. The site includes a waste recovery area, where cardboard and polythene packaging will be collected and palletised, ready to be shipped off for recycling. Rainwater will be recycled for vehicle washing, loo flushing and cooling of plant evaporative condensers. Water is also conserved using low flush WC cisterns, time control taps and waterless urinals.
Renewable sources of energy are used extensively and include solar panels in the warehouse roof to provide electrical power to the offices and preheat water. The flow of natural light into the building has been carefully structured to reduce energy consumption and improve the working environment and artificial lighting is photo-cell activated to avoid wastage.
In 2008, 3663 was named as one of the Sunday Times Top 10 Green Companies in the UK and is the only foodservice wholesaler to hold ISO14001 accreditation for environmental management across all its sites.