It really pays for businesses to be carbon conscious. Not only is climate change becoming a real global issue, but increasing your green efficiency can also save substantial sums of money into the future, which can be spent on more important things for your business.
Perhaps you have already begun the steps to improving your carbon footprint within your warehouse, but want to make sure you have done all you can? Or, perhaps, you feel like you are lagging behind your competitors when it comes to energy efficiency and need a big turnaround?
Either way, here we have listed some key ways in which you can improve your use and retention of energy and reduce your warehouse’s carbon footprint at the same time.
Heating or cooling warehouses is an extremely important task. Both for keeping working conditions optimum, as well as maintaining goods in the right condition for sale. Warehouses are often large, cavernous spaces with numerous entry and exit points, therefore maintaining temperatures can be tricky and expensive.
Properly insulated doors and walls will help to maintain a regular internal temperature inside, particularly if you have an automated door system in place to ensure that the doors stay shut when they’re not in use. Taking this one step further would be to install internal partition walls. By subdividing your space with these walls, you can choose to heat or cool the areas you need to at any given time. This could lead to huge energy savings rather than having just one big space.
In order to regulate warehouse temperatures based on occupancy and product needs, programmable thermostats with timers could be installed and programmed to set times and days. This is an effective way of avoiding unnecessary energy consumption during periods when space isn’t being used.
As well as heating/cooling a warehouse, lighting it can be just as difficult (and expensive!). Good lighting is significant in a warehouse to ensure health and safety therefore many warehouses flood entire internal and external areas with light in order to provide as much visibility as possible. Although this solves the safety issue, it can be a very expensive option as well as energy draining.
A more energy-efficient lighting system could be integrated using a warehouse management system (WMS). Lighting is controlled through this system as people pass in and out, dynamically lighting the warehouse as they move around through the use of wireless sensors. When nobody is left in that area the WMS can switch off the lights, safe in the knowledge that the space is empty.
When it comes to types of lighting, LED lights are as much as 50 times more efficient than fluorescent lighting. Also, they produce little to no heat when in use, and are fully and easily recyclable. Saving you money and saving the planet from wastage. This could be particularly relevant in a refrigerated warehouse space, where LED lights can save money on cooling costs, and save as much as 60% on your CO2 emissions.
Despite an imminent revolution in robotics and automation, many warehouses in the UK still operate fuel-powered vehicles. While diesel forklifts are familiar and reliable, they contribute to environmental issues as well as fuel-efficiency issues.
Switching to a fleet of electric forklift trucks will solve a number of problems and will prepare your warehouse space for a future of autonomous vehicles.
Battery-powered forklifts are way more energy-efficient, as well as being also emission-free. This reduces the need to ventilate your warehouse space for these emissions, which in turn can help with heating/cooling temperature control.
To read up more about how to embrace electrification in advance of the 2035 ban on petrol and diesel engines, read our recently published article here.