There are a number of benefits that come with making your warehouse greener. Not only will it have a positive impact on the environment, but it can save money, make the business more efficient and project a positive image that staff and suppliers want to be part of. There is no shortage of ways your warehouse can be greener and we’ve listed some suggestions below.
Upgrade the lighting
Changing the lighting is one of the easiest ways to make your warehouse greener. Removing traditional lightbulbs with modern LED alternatives will make better use of electricity while also helping to reduce costs. LED lighting lasts a lot longer than traditional bulbs and require less maintenance. By using less electricity you are lowering carbon emissions and in one simple move the entire facility is far more energy efficient.
Install energy efficient equipment
To take things even further in the energy efficiency stakes, you can look to use equipment that isn’t so reliant on petroleum and electricity. This is particularly useful if you are at the stage where you need to upgrade equipment anyway, making the transition process a lot easier. How much wattage the items uses, miles per gallon and gallons per hour are the type of markers you need to manage. Ensure the new equipment can still perform its task to the required standard while also adding more efficiency without consuming so much energy. Ensuring equipment undergoes regular maintenance checks will also extend the lifespan and lessens the need to upgrade too frequently.
Review packaging consumption
Another good way to cut down on waste is to be smarter with the way packaging is used. The more efficiently it is managed, the less it will weigh and cost in terms of shipping. If possible, switch to biodegradable materials from traditional packaging as it will degrade in a far shorter space of time. Whereas synthetic plastics can take hundreds of years in some cases. Another bonus is that biodegradable materials are also compostable. Moving your packaging in this direction will not only reduce waste but decrease your carbon footprint.
This should be standard practice in almost every warehouse, but unfortunately there are still quite a few who do not have recycling procedures in place. This will play a big role in becoming a more environmentally conscious company, and it goes hand-in-hand with many existing practices that occur at almost every warehouse. Usually it is paper and cardboard that make up most of the waste and these are materials that are extremely easy to manage and organise for recycling. It’s a habitual practice, so once you have a recycling plan in place, ensure all staff follow the procedures so it is maintained going forward.
Reuse of materials
Whether it’s pallets, corrugated boxes or anything else, there are a number of products within each warehouse that can be reused. Packaging materials are not often reused but given the cost involved in manufacturing them, it makes sense to reuse where possible. Not only will it reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing but also save you money. It doesn’t just have to be your own packaging, as you can choose to use materials sent from other suppliers. With good planning and managing, it won’t compromise the quality of your services and adds to the positive impact on the environment you are trying to develop.
Make use of insulation
The better insulated your facility is, the less energy will be used to warm and cool it at different points during the year. Badly insulated warehouses will let warm/cool air escape too easily, which then needs to be replaced and makes the entire building have a negative impact on the environment. It will also mean you are paying far too much on energy bills that can ultimately be reduced with proper insulation. Not only will it make for a more comfortable working space for your employees, it also reduces unnecessary wear and tear on HVAC systems so they last longer and do not need to be replaced or repaired so frequently.
Make use of vertical space
If possible, consider building up instead of out to make the most of the vertical space available to you. Naturally this means you are using less horizontal floor space, while increasing storage options and reducing the possibility of having to relocate. Moving to a new warehouse is not only very costly but also far less kinder to the environment considering all the movement of stock and equipment that has to be undertaken.
Install a cool roof
A lot of money is usually spent during the summer to cool down the warehouse through use of HVAC systems. UV rays hit the roof of the building and travel downwards, warming the entire facility. If you coat the roof with bright reflective paint, this will reflect the rays instead of absorbing them. This will help to cool the building and lower costs in the process, saving you money and making the warehouse much greener.