Climate-neutral works depot Beckum: Community solution at inter-municipal level saves CO2

In 2013 in Beckum, a new works depot was inaugurated as a community project between the town and the district of Warendorf. Merging several sites in a climate-friendly new building not only produces synergy effects in terms of work processes and facilities, but also means a reduction of 136 tonnes in CO2 emissions every year.

The aim was already clear during the joint planning process between the town of Beckum and the district of Warendorf: as well as simplifying and optimising work processes, the new works depot was intended to be energy self-sufficient and climate-neutral. To this end, a project group embarked on a search for potential ways to consolidate. Alongside the mayor, district administrator, treasurer and the works management, individuals responsible for the environmental field and particularly the employees of the works depots were involved in the process. The result shows in an exemplary way how resource conservation and climate protection can be successfully combined with a reduction in the burden on municipal funds.

Engine for progress:

  • Annual operating costs cut by around 200,000 euros
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions by 136 tonnes
  • Community solution producing synergy effects

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Photo: Hearts & Minds/Difu

Salt store and vehicle depot at the new climate-neutral works depot for the town of Beckum and the district of Warendorf.

Good for the environment and the climate

The new works depot is energy self-sufficient on a yearly average, i.e. it produces more energy than it needs – thanks to the photovoltaic system that is installed to supply electricity, which has a peak output of 119 kilowatts (kW), and a wood chip heating system with a heat output of 126 kW, which supplies the buildings with heat and hot water. The works depot does not yet have battery storage for the excess solar power that it produces and therefore buys electricity from the grid if necessary. From 2017, the intention is to rely entirely on green energy, in order to reduce CO2 emissions by another 25.5 tonnes. An annual reduction of around 136 tonnes of CO2 is already being achieved compared to the situation before the merger. Resources are also being consciously conserved. Rain water that runs off the roof of the equipment store is used as grey water (for running the sweeping machines, for example) and the depot’s own well covers its remaining water needs.

Low-priced and efficient for town and district

The merger has also proved financially beneficial for the parties involved – the town and the district now saves around 100,000 euros a year each in operational costs. In addition, synergy effects arise – for example, the car repair shop is used jointly, consumables are purchased together and machinery in the vehicle fleet can be shared, as can personnel. The new works depot thus saves money as well as preserving resources and protecting the climate.

Photo: Hearts & Minds/Difu

“This qualification represents an important sign of approval for the climate protection work that has been carried out until now in Beckum and encourages us to pursue our efforts. I am particularly delighted that the employees of the municipal services also helped initiate the idea of the climate-neutral works depot.”

Dr Karl-Uwe Strothmann, Mayor of Beckum

Partners and sponsors

  • Stadt Beckum
  • Kreis Warendorf
  • KfW-Bank