Going green – everyone is talking about it! Did you know you can help the environment by incorporating certain changes in your warehouse or factory? Your actions can truly make a difference.
In addition to benefitting the environment, your company will benefit as well. You can save money on energy-related costs like heat, electricity and water bills. It is also likely that you will attract new customers. Your company will be more marketable since consumers are becoming more and more conscious of the environment.
If you make an effort to conserve energy, lessen pollution and encourage the use of renewable energy sources, certain tax credits may be available to you. Check energy.gov/savings to see what is available in your state.
Here are some ways you can reduce the carbon footprint of your warehouse.
Recycle & Reuse
One way to create a green warehouse is to recycle packing materials. Instead of throwing the packing materials away, send them to recycling facilities. This could be anything from cardboard to plastic or paper materials. Another option would be to reuse packing materials. Some items such as wooden pallets, plastic bins, and some of the packing materials mentioned above can be used over again. In addition to being more eco-friendly, this will also minimize the cost of buying new packing supplies.
There are systems that allow manufacturers to go paperless on assembly lines. These systems use visual work instructions to boost productivity. In addition to this practice being environmentally impactful, it also is cost saving and allows for better accuracy and real-time feedback and changes.
Paperless order management systems mean that everything from purchase orders to packing slips are paperless. Give customers an option to house everything online instead of on paper. You can also work with vendors to receive invoices digitally instead of in the mail or via fax.
Do your best to keep paper printouts to a minimum. Storing data electronically also makes it easier to organize your filing system and keep records.
Utilize Energy-Saving Technology
When choosing a light source, look to LED or high-efficiency fluorescent lighting to create better lighting and save money on electrical costs. Skylights can also help reduce electrical costs by decreasing the need of man-made lighting used during the day. Install motion sensors to control lighting so lights will automatically be shut off when no one is using that area. If possible, install solar power panels.
For water use, install water-efficient water tanks, install your water heater close to hot water taps and add low-flow valves to all taps to reduce water waste.
Avoid heat loss by making sure walls are insulated properly. Some warehouses have upgraded to spray-foam insulation which creates a sealed thermal layer. You should also check that your warehouse doors and windows are insulated, as well as not losing heat through the cracks. Replace entry doors if you notice this problem.
Are you looking to build a new warehouse? Consider your potential warehouse location. This is one impact on sustainability that can often be overlooked. The time it takes for workers to travel to and from your warehouse can play a part in gas emissions and have a negative impact on the environment. Keep that in mind and build where it makes sense logistically for employee travel.
Another opportunity is to reuse and remodel vacant buildings. Recycling a building in that way reduces construction costs.
Carefully choose eco-friendly building materials in the construction of your warehouse. Some eco-friendly materials to consider incorporating are bamboo, recycled metal, dimension stone and reclaimed lumber.
Make these changes in your factory or warehouse and in addition to increasing your company’s profitability, you will also be reducing your carbon footprint by releasing fewer toxins into the air, improving water quality and reducing the need for landfills. Make your warehouse a place that future generations will want to work.