Inside This Issue - News
New warehouse is vital to CVS' growth
October 10th, 2011
CHEMUNG, N.Y. – CVS Caremark Corp.’s new distribution center here will bring 600 jobs to New York’s southern tier while fostering the company’s ongoing expansion, president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo said at a grand opening ceremony.
The 751,000-square-foot warehouse, which will serve hundreds of northeastern stores, is vital to the company’s growth, Merlo said. The 300 jobs being created this year and the 300 being added in 2012 are “certainly necessary to support the expanding distribution needs of our retail stores,” but are also part of CVS Caremark’s overarching expansion strategy, he said.
That strategy includes the addition of more than 5,000 jobs nationwide “across all areas of our business in the coming months,” Merlo emphasized.
Federal and state officials attending the event included Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), who said that by the end of the year “this CVS facility will have prescribed a much-needed medication to the region.”
Holding up a prescription vial, Schumer said, “Guess what this bottle has? You think it has pills? No. It has 300, 600 and then more jobs in it, and that’s just the kind of thing we want. This is an incredible facility, and my prediction is once you get it going it’ll be time for a refill. Jobs, like medicine, are going to breathe life and vitality into this region during our tough economic times.”
Ron Link, senior vice president of supply chain and logistics at CVS/pharmacy, said the facility can be expanded to upwards of 1 million square feet.
He noted that it holds the distinction of being the largest industrial building in the state of New York to be certified Gold by LEED — the nation’s pre-eminent green building certification program — and one of the 10 largest such buildings in the country.
Projects seeking LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council are evaluated for practical and measurable design, construction, operations and maintenance. Standing for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance. Gold is the second-highest level of LEED certification. Gold certification was sought for the $90 million project early on in the design phase, Link said.
Examples of sustainable design elements that have been incorporated into the facility include the following:
• Energy-efficient, white PVC insulated roof.
• Interior and exterior lighting with daylight sensors and timers.
• High-efficiency, low-flow plumbing fixtures.
• Rainwater harvest system for irrigation.
• Fluorescent fixtures and skylights.
• Construction with local and recycled materials, and waste recycling.
Hydrogen fuel cells are being developed to charge material handling equipment in the warehouse, Link added. “We’re really excited about that,” he said.
The facility’s best-in-class technology includes nine miles of conveyors, high-speed sorting, a light and voice picking system, and state-of-the-art control and management systems.
“At the end of the day all of these systems work very, very closely together to deliver the product to our stores,” Link said.