Environmental performance is Unilever’s top priority
In December 2019, Unilever unveiled a new Foods Innovation Centre in the Netherlands. Located in an area nicknamed the Silicon Valley of food, the campus known as Hive lies within the largest food and nutrition R&D cluster in the world.
Conducting research into meat alternatives, efficient crops, and more, Hive aims to drive innovations that are healthier for people and the planet. Alongside its eco-friendly research, Unilever’s campus also has the world’s highest certification for sustainable buildings. From being completely energy-neutral to using recycled materials for 95 percent of its interior, no stone was left unturned when it came to environmental performance—and its parking lot was no exception.
Electrifying your parking lot is no longer a choice—it’s a European requirement
While offering employees a convenient place to charge their electric vehicles was a top priority for Unilever, this provision is now also a requirement by law. As per the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, all new non-residential buildings in Europe with more than 10 parking spaces must have at least one charging port and cabling for one in every five spaces. It's anticipated that requirements like these will become even more stringent in the future.
To comply with legislation, Unilever got in touch with its systems integrator, Hollander Techniek, to arrange the implementation. As John van der Draaij, Site Operations Manager at Unilever’s Innovation Centre explained:
"We wanted to make life easier for our staff and visitors who drive electric—but we discovered that offering EV charging is now also a requirement by law for new buildings. Our systems integrator chose EVBox as its intelligent products allow us to easily manage our site's distribution of power and scale our charging network in the future.”
of the parking lot electrified
Unilever’s office campus is now equipped with 124 charging ports
To cater to Hive’s 450 employees—many of whom already drive electric—Hollander Techniek reached out to EVBox in search of advice. Due to its dual-socket design, and smart charging functionalities, EVBox recommended EVBox BusinessLine for the Unilever site.
With help from EVBox’s distribution partner, Technische Unie, and installation partner, Laadpunt NL, 124 parking spaces were fitted with 11 kW charging ports—electrifying over 23 percent of the parking lot! As Tim van Stipriaan, Engineering Consultant at Hollander Techniek explained:
"We chose EVBox as our supplier because of the EVBox BusinessLine's flexible design and energy-efficient load balancing functionality. These features, in combination with the parking layout, were perfect for Unilever’s current and future charging needs.”
On the road to a greener future
With Unilever now offering employees the option to lease an electric car, the number of EV drivers is expected to rise. By actively looking to improve its own EV charging infrastructure, Unilever is curbing its carbon footprint and contributing toward a zero-emission future.