Things to Think About on Earth Day
April 22nd, 2019 - Minimizing your carbon footprint is probably a much bigger priority than it ever has been. Here are 4 ways to make your warehouse more sustainable:
Many warehouses are making changes to become more eco-friendly. If you’re looking to create a greener warehouse but haven’t started yet, you might find the process intimidating! However, creating a sustainable warehouse doesn’t have to drastically change your material handling operations. There are plenty of simple changes you can make to lower your overall energy usage. And as an added bonus, many of these changes can positively impact your bottom-line long term. So, without further ado, here are four easy ways you can make your warehouse more sustainable.
If you haven’t switched to LED bulbs yet, that should be your top priority. Because LEDs consume up to 90% less energy and last longer than traditional light bulbs, they help the environment and save you money long term. Additionally, consider the fact that not all the lights need to be on in every part of your facility at all times of the day. Smart technology can help you keep lights off when no one is in the room.
Another huge way that your warehouse consumes energy is through heavy AC usage in the summer and heat usage in the winter. Simply allowing your warehouse’s temperature range to be slightly warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter can make a big difference in your overall energy usage.
If you’re concerned raising or lowering your warehouse’s temperature will negatively impact your workers’ comfort, there are other ways that you can lower your energy consumption while keeping your warehouse at your desired temperature. Running high volume, low speed (HVLS) fans can effectively cool a large open space like a warehouse while using lower overall energy consumption. Additionally, ensure that your building is well insulated well and your dock and door areas are secure. This can help stabilize your warehouse’s indoor temperature and decrease the need to run AC and heat.
What’s the easiest way to eliminate exhaust emissions from your fleet? Switch to electric powered forklifts! The benefits of transitioning to an electric fleet are many. Unlike traditionally fueled forklifts, electric forklifts produce zero emissions. You’ll also find a lower overall cost and safer, more efficient process when you switch to electric.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Look at the big picture in your warehouse and see what changes you can make to processes to reduce the amount of overall waste you are producing. The reduction of waste is a key principle of the Toyota Production System (TPS). Consider using the TPS as a guideline when designing your overall production system in order to avoid over production and reduce overall waste.
For the remaining waste, take a look around your warehouse. Can any of the materials you are just throwing in the garbage be reused or recycled? Items like wooden pallets can potentially be reused within your warehouse, and everything from used packaging to forklift batteries can be recycled.
Consider these suggestions, implement a few into your warehouse management plan, and you’ll have a green warehouse in no time!