Global warming is something we are all familiar with. It has affected our planet for decades, and the problem is getting worse each year- melting snow, rising sea levels, climate change, and so on.
The prevention of global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions have been top priorities for several decades. One such preventive measure is making the warehouses more environmental-friendly; sustainable!
You read it right! Note that sustainable warehouses are not limited only to using electric vehicles and clean fuels. There are many elements which can make a warehouse more sustainable and efficient.
This article will discuss a few changes to incorporate into your warehouse to make it a sustainable warehouse. So stay tuned.
What Is A Sustainable Warehouse?
Do you know how much a standard warehouse can affect its surroundings? One of the essential factors in warehousing is transportation, and the gases released from vehicles, like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides highly affect nature.
Plus, if your warehouse is located in a humid area, then you have to face another enemy: mould. Apart from this, warehouses need high energy consumption. All these things can harm workers and the people living near the area.
So to resolve all these matters, the concept of sustainable warehouses was introduced.
“Sustainable warehouses are constructed with the idea of reducing the waste and energy consumption of the warehouse.”
But Why Do You Need A Sustainable Warehouse?
Though warehouses have been in demand for decades now, the concept of warehousing took another giant leap during the pandemic. More and more businesses across the globe transferred their gears online, surging demand for warehouses on rent.
Apart from achieving business goals, companies are now actively partnering with communities to tackle the environmental problems we currently face. One perfect answer is to incorporate sustainable warehouse practices to avail bigger benefits.
By opting for sustainable warehouses, you are not only saving a bit for the environment, but you are also cutting down on various costs. If this is not enough to make you invest in sustainable warehousing solutions, here are some benefits you can enjoy by making your warehouse environment-friendly:
- Lower operational costs.
- Increase in productivity.
- You get a competitive advantage
- Meet your customer’s expectations more diligently.
- Fewer disruptions
- Improved brand reputation
What Can You Do To Achieve A Sustainable Warehouse?
Now that you know all the benefits, it’s time to understand how to achieve sustainable warehouses.
You have to make a few arrangements for the interior and exterior of the warehouse. So, read on to know what changes you can make.
The Interior Of The Warehouse
No, you don’t have to change the whole infrastructure, but you have to use it smartly and incorporate some additional elements.
1. Making Efficient Use of Light
What do you need most in the warehouse? Lighting is necessary to have better visibility. However, it is one of the biggest reasons for your fat electric bills.
There are two of the most efficient ways to save on lighting:
- LED lights are the best substitutes for traditional lights.
- Making LED lights for your lighting partner can help you save a lot. To give a better view, LED lights emit rays in a span of 180°.
Plus, these lights do not heat up like traditional lights and use very little voltage. These factors make them a more durable and energy-efficient option.
Fun fact: LED lights use 65-70% less energy than traditional lighting.
So, by incorporating LED lights into your warehouse, you can save a lot more on your electricity bills.
- Use natural light as much as you can.
If you want to save more, installing natural light or skylights is best. Nature has bestowed us with such great lighting, so why not use it?
Installing skylights at the proper distance ensures better visibility in the warehouse, minus the hassle of installing any light.
2. Follow The Rule Of 3 R’s
The most essential 3 R’s for preserving the environment are: Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse. Yet this concept is the most neglected in logistic facilities. Incorporating 3R’s system into the warehouse can cut down on some of the operational costs.
Logistic facilities produce the most waste during the process of packaging. Sometimes, small packages are packed in large cardboard boxes to protect the product from damage, which is a total waste.
This problem needs a solution. The first thing one can do is to make customers return the packaging so you can reuse it and give the area a new life or reduce the use of packaging. Ensure that you are using the right boxes. Avoid the use of plastic.
Moreover, you can switch the materials- swap plastic with biodegradable materials that are not harmful to the environment.
3. With You Make Your Warehouses Smart Too
We see some new advancements in technology every day. So, with the help of the same technology, we can make the warehouse more sustainable.
“Sensors”. Yes, you can add sensors to all possible places, like lighting, machinery, and appliances.
Incorporating sensors into light gives us full access to control the amount of light as per our needs. We can also get insights for users to optimise our lighting operations accordingly.
You can also embed these sensors in machinery, appliances, and other equipment to get insights into its usage, and, based on this data, you can plan accordingly.
Even environmental sensing is possible with these sensors. Temperature can be controlled and adjusted to keep the product at its best.
After getting proper insights and data, warehouse managers can make remarkable changes and make their warehouses more efficient.
The exterior of the warehouse
Reforms are not limited to inside the walls; they go beyond them. A few changes in the overall layout of the warehouse would be a step closer to the environment.
4. Changing The Location
When it comes to warehousing, one of the most important factors is its location. Is your warehouse close to transit locations like highways, airways, railways, or ports?
The rise in demand for eCommerce has led to a surge in warehouses on lease. More and more distributors are renting warehouse spaces in areas where they can be directly in contact with their customers.
Choosing the ideal location can reduce transportation emissions and deliver faster, leading to more sustainability.
5. Transform The Roofs.
Light-coloured or white-coloured roofs reflect sunlight, which helps to keep the warehouse cool.
Renewable energy is the most efficient way to create a sustainable warehouse. We are very fortunate to have been blessed by nature, as it provides us with efficient sunlight. Turn this sunlight into electrical power with the help of solar panels.
By installing solar panels, warehouse owners can benefit from lower energy costs and increased property values while reducing carbon footprints.
Some other ways to achieve a sustainable warehouse
6. Warehouse owners can set different KPIs to measure their carbon footprints. These KPIs are the amount of waste used and reused, energy utilisation; other emissions; and the use of natural resources.
7. Ensure the warehouse has proper ventilation.
8. Warehouse owners can use eco-friendly paints, wood products, adhesives, and sealants to improve the interior and create a healthy environment. Moreover, a healthy environment can encourage workers to work more enthusiastically.
9. Warehouse owners can reduce their water footprints by rain-water harvesting or using sensors to have a deep knowledge of where and how water is used and wasted.
10. Still not commonly used, but switching to EVs is a wiser decision as they do not emit harmful gases like fuel.
11. Improving your warehouse infrastructure by landscaping: planting trees in surrounding areas.
Sustainable warehouses are the future of the warehousing industry. As environmental concerns are rising daily, many environmental enthusiasts have invested in sustainable warehouses.
Maybe they come with high upfront costs, but this is a life-long investment you can enjoy over the years with higher ROIs, reduced operational costs, and, most importantly, a return gift to nature.
We hope you found this blog post on Sustainable Warehousing: Future Of Commercial Leasing useful. Be sure to check out our post on 7 Ways To Maximize Your Workplace Storage Tips for more great tips!
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