Sustainable practices are all fine in the office workplace, but can they be applied to warehouses and storage facilities? You bet they can. In fact, here are several ways you can run a green warehouse and not only help the environment, but save a lot of money in energy costs:
- Cut your heating and cooling costs. Start by checking your facility’s dock doors to be sure they are adequately insulated. Also, if they open and close slowly, consider installing faster moving dock doors. These steps could save you thousands of dollars in energy costs due to temperature or cooling loss. In addition, consider installing solar panels to help reduce your dependence on electricity and lower your energy costs.
- Reduce your lighting costs. Use motion sensors and light timers in low-traffic areas of your facility that turn on lights only when the area is occupied. Also, choose fluorescent lighting, which uses less energy for the same amount of light. Be sure to clean and replace lamps on a regular basis to avoid dust build-up and ensure full-light output.
- Use electric forklifts. This will eliminate tailpipe emissions produced by gas forklifts, thereby improving employee health and having less of an impact on the environment. This will also eliminate the cost of fuel, saving you an estimated $26,000 in propane over five years when using a 5,000lb capacity forklift 6 hours a day, 5 days per week. Electric forklifts are also a lot less noisy.
- Take advantage of natural light. Having skylights and windows in your distribution or storage facility enables you to save on electric lighting.
- Reduce vehicle idling time. The longer a truck idles outside your distribution center, the more unnecessary diesel fuel is burned. Using an advanced scheduling software program, you can reduce the time trucks wait. Or, simply encourage drivers to stop running their engines during loading and unloading.
- Save water. Incorporate storm water retention and gray water irrigation into your facility’s landscaping. It’s energy- and cost-efficient.
For more tips on how to green your warehouse or storage facility, click here.