A warehouse is a building that is designated for the storage of goods and other materials. Warehouses are often used by businesses, or independent manufacturers, retailers, importers, exporters, and wholesalers. They are not usually the representative unit for a business and are separate from the primary work building. For this purpose, warehouses are maintained for purely functional purposes and are often located on the outskirts of towns and cities.
Several companies have begun to take up an eco-friendly approach to their business operations. With more and more of the buying population looking for sustainable and ethical products, companies are going above and beyond to implement these environment-friendly practices into their modus operandi. Warehousing plays a large role in the scope of business operations as it takes plenty of effort to manufacture, allocate and store products in the correct manner. Companies are going one step ahead and translating their ethical business practices to suit their warehouses as well. Eco-friendly warehouses are not only highly beneficial for the planet, but they also have the power to reduce your overall expenses significantly.
Here are some of the most helpful green warehouse tips that will help you transform your business
1. Location of the Warehouse
If your business is still in the initial stages, you might be on the lookout for a good location for a warehouse. Going by the traditional route, businesses often keep their warehouses in the outskirts, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, it is important to note that the overall energy used by all the transportation services to go back and forth from the warehouse to the main office is enough to dampen other green warehouse practices. For this reason, experts advise that it is much more sensible and sustainable to find a suitable warehouse location that is within the city limits, and one which would require as minimal transport operations as possible.
2. Smart buildings
One of the key ‘green’ changes that can be made to improve warehouse efficiency is to make use of smart systems to track the operations within the building. The latest smart management systems allow building managers to use ‘submetering’ to overlook the energy consumed by the building equipment. With the use of smart technology, physical energy monitoring systems are installed into equipment to check the usage of gas, electricity, water, and other utilities. The data is then sent to the analytics centre to keep track of the overall energy consumed, as well as identify the different areas for energy and cost savings.
3. Better lighting
Warehouses are often very illuminated and use a large portion of their total energy consumption in lighting up the premises. One of the key changes that can be made is the usage of daytime lights to cut back on brightness and overall energy consumption. Another clever way of improving warehouse efficiency is by creating more glass panels as a way of allowing more natural lighting to illuminate the space during the day. Interestingly, employee productivity has also been said to increase when the work environment is illuminated with natural lighting. Once again, using smart floor management systems, building managers can identify the areas of the building that are not in use, and cut back on the power in these sections, and illuminate them only when needed.
4. Use of electric forklifts
A forklift is a machine that is used in several warehouses to lift and carry around heavy goods. One of the main advantages of switching over from traditional forklifts to electric forklifts is the elimination in oil and gas usage. This method is advantageous as an eco-friendly practice while also ensuring more safety for the employees.
5. HVLS fans
HVLS fans, or High-Volume Low-Speed fans, are the perfect inclusion into this list of green warehouses practices. As we all know by now, air conditioning is not an advocate for sustainability and causes more harm than good. Alas, the people living in hot cities, towns and districts are not convinced of the abilities of the humble fan to cool down temperatures. A system of HVLS fans can easily regulate the temperature of a warehouse facility from floor to ceiling while providing ample cooling for all. Overall, switching out air-conditioning to a centralized HVLS fan system can result in cost savings ranging between 12 to 50 per cent, without realizing any negative temperature changes.
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Before we were even met with the statistics of the alarming levels of climate change, we were taught about sustainability with the help of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle. By incorporating this simple yet highly effective sustainable strategy into the daily operations within the warehouse, a single corporate entity can reduce their carbon footprint by a large margin. For starters, redeveloping vacant buildings into new, potential spaces for warehousing is one of the best ways to get started on green warehouse practices. Coming to operations, simple steps like incorporating returnable plastic containers (RPC’s), warehouse recycling, or even reducing the usage of electricity can lead to significant gains in the journey towards creating an eco-friendly warehouse.
In conclusion, it is highly imperative for corporate organizations to lend a helping hand towards incorporating more eco-friendly practices. When bigger establishments showcase their involvement in green practices, smaller entities take heed and incorporate these steps into their business operations as well.
Speaking of warehouse practices, here are 6 Basic Functions That Improve Warehouse Efficiency!