Asda opened its first environmentally friendly depot this week in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

The Wal-Mart-owned grocer invested £42m in the eco-depot, which replaced its previous depot three miles away from the new site.

The eco-depot, which opened on Thursday, has been made using eco-friendly timber and reclaimed brick. The new site has 250,000 sq ft more space than the old site, totalling 444,000 sq ft.

Asda head of distribution Ian Stansfield said: “This move forms part of our commitment to reduce the amount of energy we use. We’re hoping that, if successful, the new environmental technologies used in Didcot can be implemented elsewhere across Asda’s distribution network.”

The eco-depot also has an underground drainage system, as well as intelligent, movement-detecting lighting systems, energy cladding panels and thermal roof lights.

The site is the first in the Asda portfolio to offer staff their own gym, a sports pitch and other health-related services including physiotherapy and self-defence classes.

Asda opened its newest eco-store in October last year at Bootle in Merseyside. The £27m, 40,000 sq ft store has energy-generating and energy-saving features such as an external bio-mass boiler fuelled with wood chips and lower-energy freezers, all of which have doors to keep the cold in. The store also has higher levels of daylight than similar-sized branches. Asda estimated that the store’s carbon footprint will be more than 50 per cent lower than a conventional outlet.

Rival grocers have also invested in eco-friendly shops, including Tesco’s latest store at Cheetham Hill in Manchester, and Sainsbury’s latest in Gloucester Quays.