The warehouse and storage industry can often be very challenging for business owners and managers. This is because there are many targets and expectations that are imposed on warehouses which consequently means other priorities such sustainability is often forgotten about. With this in mind, this article will take you through 6 simple ways you can make your warehouse more green so that you can hit your sustainability targets:
- Invest In Solar Panels
The first entry on this list to make your warehouse more sustainable is to invest in energy efficient solar panels. If you would like your business to greatly reduce its carbon footprint, the implementation of solar panels could be an option. Installing panels on your warehouse roof will not only reduce your energy bills, it will provide clean, renewable energy which means your business operations can last longer in the upcoming years. By producing your own electricity, you will be less reliant on purchasing energy from external suppliers. This also has the knock on effect of saving you money in the long run. Not to mention, there is currently a global gas crisis at the time of writing this article which is continuing to drive market prices to new highs. As such, switching to solar panels as a source of energy looks incredibly more appealing for warehouse owners.
- Invest In Efficient Lighting
The second entry on this list consists of switching out your old warehouse lighting in favour of LED lights. LED lights will save you a significant amount of money over time despite their initial increased up front cost. The higher initial cost should not deter you from investing in these handy pieces of advanced technology as generally, they are designed to last much longer than conventional light bulbs and will significantly reduce your warehouse’s carbon footprint. Furthermore, by switching to eco-friendly LEDs, you can keep your warehouse lit by as much as 80% whilst using fewer bulbs – perfect for maintaining your sustainability targets.
- Switch To Greener Machinery
If you are operating in a warehouse, chances are you have come across a forklift. These traditional petrol/diesel powered machines can emit harmful gases when utilised all day every day and can be incredibly dangerous to operators’ health if used indoors. As such, switching to an electric forklift and more specifically, a Lithium-Ion forklift can be the best option to hit your sustainability targets. This is because they are quieter, minimise emission of harmful gases and can be used indoors with no fear of incurring health problems to individuals who operate them. On the topic of Lithium-Ion forklifts, they are more environmentally friendly than their lead acid batteries counterparts as they are non-toxic and pose no risk of acid spills.
- Recycle More Intelligently
Recycling is an easy system that can be enforced straight away when operating in a warehousing environment. Recycling reduces the need to extract new raw materials from the Earth which in turn lessens the harmful disruption and damage being done to the natural world. Cardboard and paper are likely to be the main forms of waste that comes from a warehouse so making sure you regularly recycle your waste will help improve your businesses sustainability and help maintain the environment. What we also mean by recycling more intelligently is making sure you allocate your recyclable waste in the correct bins for disposal. Failure to put cardboard in the correct ‘bin’ can cause extra trips for the transport trucks which as a result can lead to more harmful emissions being released to the planet.
- Insulate Your Warehouse
Poor insulation is a common problem for many warehouses across the UK. A lack of insulation can drive up the energy costs of your business quite drastically and can seem like it is impossible to heat your warehouse. Investing in correct and reliable insulation won’t only significantly reduce your energy bills, but your employees will appreciate this change too. It has been well studied that poor working conditions, in terms of heating or cold air ventilation, can massively reduce your workers productivity and increase the amount of mistakes made. When applying this to a warehouse setting, a worker may simply leave a machine engine running which will release harmful emissions around the workplace. As a result, your sustainable practices will be hindered and the overall health of your employees could be in danger.
- Build Vertically
The final way you can make your warehouse more green is by building upwards. If you need to expand your business area, it is best to consider building vertically as opposed to adding another floor plan or building outside of your warehouse. This massively reduces the need for transport vehicles to be utilised in order to expand the area which in turn lowers your carbon footprint. The best way to improve space in your warehouse is to add on top of the racking already situated in the warehouse. Although it must be noted that you must not exceed the height limit. According to the HSE, the maximum height should be no more than six times the narrowest dimension of the bottom pallet.