In recent years, many companies decided to switch to green practices and become eco-friendly. Of course, this is not something that can happen overnight and it's better executed in steps. As part of almost every business, warehouses are not only the easiest to start with but also substantial contributors to the greenhouse effect.
They use a lot of energy for their operation which usually involves heavy machinery and large spaces. This leads to high emissions of gasses and heat into the atmosphere which contributes to severe climate changes we witness all over the world. But with some changes, you can turn your warehouse into an eco-friendly business and help the planet heal, as well as downsize your bills.
The most important piece of equipment in a warehouse is a forklift. This vehicle is used to transfer heavy goods and lift it to considerable heights at the same time. And now, it comes with battery charging option that doesn’t require fossil fuel and leaves no carbon footprint. By charging a battery once a day, you can use it for five years although they are easily replaceable if need be.
Electric forklifts are quiet and produce zero emissions which will eliminate the exposure of workers to carbon monoxide poisoning. So, not only will you help reduce the carbon footprint in the environment but also create healthier working conditions for your employees.
The warehouse is an ideal candidate for solar energy since they are usually located on the outskirts of town and are exposed to sunlight. This allows for solar panels to be installed in the surrounding area and not on the roof which is a more expensive solution. And even if you leave in the area with different seasons, solar panels will still harvest enough solar energy in winter and fall.
However, many businesses are repelled to transfer to this energy source because of the high installation price. However, this is a one-time cost which you will pay off very quickly with much lower energy bills for the whole time you use solar power. And the best thing is that you don’t depend on power companies and will have electricity even during the shortage.
Schedules, manifests and orders are still done on paper while there is no need for this old practice. Provide your workers with tablets for quick and effective access to data from anywhere in the warehouse. If you hire a developer, they can create a special app to make the operation of your warehouse more efficient and easier for employees.
Since all information will be stored in cloud space or specially designed servers at your HQ, no data will be lost in case of fire or any other accidents. Furthermore, papers can easily get lost or misplaced, while electronic data is available to anyone with authorized access from anywhere in the world.
Warehouses are full of toxic chemicals and flammables with potential to harm your employees and get into the environment. This is why using proper toxic and flammable goods cabinets is a crucial safety measure which every warehouse should respect. Even if you have cleaning agents which are toxic, you should keep them stored away from machinery and heat sources.
Also, provide training for your workers on how to handle this type of chemicals and what to do in case of spillage. First-aid training is necessary as well if the area gets contaminated and employees are exposed to toxic vapors and suffer from burns.
The goods need to be secured and well-packed for transfer, but you can stop using plastic foil to do it. If you still have to use plastic containers, switch to those made from recycled plastic and materials to help reduce the production of plastic altogether. Biodegradable materials are ideal eco-friendly packaging since they decompose and can be recycled. Also, some biodegradables are ideal for composting so your goods will continue your eco-friendly practices even after it leaves the warehouse.
Large warehouse means that forklift and other transfer vehicles need to go over certain distances to carry the goods. If the layout of your warehouse is not properly optimized, they will use more power and emit more gasses into the atmosphere. To prevent this, design a layout that will be practical and economical at the same time, meaning it will provide the best and unobstructed routes for transfer.
Fast transport and enough room to properly handle goods will bring higher productivity and efficiency to your business. But also you will leave lower heat signature and prevent possible hazardous situations like fires and toxic spills.
Turning your warehouse into an eco-friendly business is a process, but the one well worth it in the end. it will lower your expenses and at the same time protect your employees, your property and the planet. Therefore, it has many benefits on a small and big plan with the common goal of improving everyone’s quality of life.