How Green is your Warehouse?
13 February 2020
“Going Green” are not just buzz words used for marketing and to make business owners feel like they’re doing their bit. Green warehouses offer a lot of benefits by streamlining processes and introducing cost-saving initiatives.
“Going Green” are not just buzz words used for marketing and to make business owners feel like they’re doing their bit. Green warehouses offer a lot of benefits by streamlining processes and introducing cost-saving initiatives. For many business owners though, thinking about Going Green is more than a little overwhelming. They can be unsure of where to start and what upgrades will have the most impact on their operations.
Warehouses are becoming increasingly more intelligent and efficient with advancements in technology bringing new opportunities for warehouses across the globe to improve their operations and lower operating costs.
An effective way a warehouse can lower operating costs is by lowering their energy bills. Warehouse solar installation has become extremely popular over the last few years as it has become much more affordable to make the initial investment. Commercial warehouses are some of the best spaces for solar installations due to their large, typically flatter roofs, giving the installation more flexibility to alter the angles of the panels for maximum effectiveness. Industrial areas are typically designed to maximise the available floor space with trees away from the buildings. This limits potential shade being cast across the panels, increasing the benefit they can have in producing power.
Changing the lighting is one of the easiest ways to make your warehouse more environmentally friendly. Most warehouse spaces use high bay lights which typically use Mercury Vapor drawing around 250-400W each. By switching these existing bulbs for more energy efferent LED equivalents, you could save up to 80% on your energy costs, with the LED bulbs only drawing 90-150W. These LED lights not only require less energy to run but are also more environmentally friendly to replace. Other systems can also be implemented to reduce your total energy consumption such as timed or sensor lighting so lights are only on when a space needs to be lit up.
Logistics automation and automated retrieval systems can enhance your warehouse storage capacity and reduce your overall operating costs. At its most simplistic level, an automated system reduces your warehouse's environmental footprint as they require less square footage and optimise the route for moving your goods from point A to point B. These automated systems require little to no traditional handling equipment like forklifts and require significantly less staff to operate. Additionally, due to the lack of staff needing to be present, these warehouses also require a lot less lighting with some cases not requiring any lights to operate known as ‘dark warehouses.’ Although it may not sound that impressive, over days, months, or even years, an automated system could save your business a great deal.
Energy Efficient Equipment:
If you own or lease a warehouse, chances are you own and work with a wide range of equipment and machinery that runs on gas, diesel or petroleum. Although this equipment may still work, when it comes time to look for replacements, look for more energy-efficient options. With some great advancements in electric machinery, these are a great option to consider in the future due to lower energy use and less maintenance requirements.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
We were taught it as a child, but this simple philosophy can be hugely beneficial for your warehouse and the environment. Reducing packaging cuts down on your warehouses total waste output, but also weighs less and costs less to ship. By switching to recyclable materials, you are also reducing the number of synthetic products making their way to landfill that take hundreds of years to break down. Many materials found in a warehouse can also be reused multiple times, from corrugated boxes to pallets. Find ways to reuse these products and get the most out of them!