Climate change has become an increasingly significant topic in both the political and business worlds, and accordingly, has raised questions about sustainability in the warehousing industry. Even if your warehouse stock is completely sustainable, the environment you store that stock in may not be – a deficiency that could impact both your reputation and your bottom line.
Investing in a more environmentally friendly warehouse could pay huge dividends for you, your business, and the whole planet. Here are a few tips about small changes that could make a huge difference in decreasing your warehouse’s carbon footprint.
Lighting makes up the vast majority of monthly energy use for almost every warehouse in every sector of the industry, as keeping a well-lit workspace is essential to ensuring operations are both efficient and safe. Metal halide lamps and fluorescent bulbs not only burn out often and are hard to replace but are also extraordinarily inefficient compared to more modern lighting solutions.
Switching your warehouse’s lighting to LED bulbs has numerous benefits, including a significantly decreased power bill. On top of that, they emit far less heat than fluorescent and halide bulbs, which can help keep your warehouse cooler and decrease the environment consequences of generating the power.
It can also be very helpful to install motion sensors on your lights if you haven’t already, so that the lights only stay on when they’re needed and don’t waste energy when they aren’t. These relatively small measures can save you money and make your warehouse much more environmentally friendly all at the same time.
Next to lighting, the most significant source of energy consumption in modern warehouses is the heating and cooling systems necessary to keep workers, materials, and products at a safe and comfortable temperature. Older temperature control systems tend to be inefficient, so updating to a more modern system can do wonders for warehouse sustainability.
There are also several smaller steps you can take to improve the way heated or cooled air circulates throughout your warehouse. For example, ineffective seals around doors and windows allow treated air to leak out or untreated air to leak into a warehouse, putting additional strain on your heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. In the same vein, it takes a lot more energy to change the temperature in empty air, so making efficient use of your warehouse space by incorporating mezzanines and maximizing inventory can reduce your energy bill and benefit your business.
One of the most noticeable contributions to a warehouse’s carbon footprint is the gas-powered vehicles and machinery that many of them still depend on. In the long term, moving toward a battery-powered fleet of forklifts and similar machines is not only a cost-effective move, but an environmentally conscious one as well.
These tips for decreasing your warehouse carbon footprint may not work perfectly for every facility, but incorporating even one of them could significantly reduce the environmental impact of your business.