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Going Green: 3 Ways To Improve Sustainability In Your Warehouse

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 1:00am
Tom Reddon, Forklift Specialist, National Forklift Exchange @TomReddon

Looking to save money and go green in your warehouse? It's not only possible, it's the best way to go in today's world of gas-guzzling, energy-wasting operations. If you use forklifts in your material handling warehouse, you can boost your sustainability daily with just a few steps.

Here are three ways you can improve sustainability in your warehouse operations.

1. Cut down on your consumption of fuel. It's increasingly important to large materials handling warehouses to cut down on their fuel use when it comes to operating machines like forklifts. Technology has come a long way in terms of fuel efficiency and durability, in addition to the increased prevalence of more and more electronic and hybrid forklifts that minimize or even eliminate the need for traditional fuel sources like gas. This allows companies to have more options at their fingertips in regards to the implementation of workplace sustainability initiatives that can cut costs and save the environment.

2. Boost your energy efficiency. There are many programs to put in place that can change the behaviors of operators and other workers. Implementing a different mindset when it comes to energy efficiency is key to bringing about positive change. You can better utilize the energy you have, without extra waste, by reducing operational costs, redesigning equipment, changing the operation's layout to make more efficient use of existing space, and increasing operational efficiencies -- all in an effort to reduce the consumption of unnecessary energy. Be wise about turning off machines, equipment and other devices when not in use.

Daylighting technology is becoming more and more popular in green warehouses, with the addition of anything from photocell sensors on high-efficiency lights to the installation of several skylights to let in more natural light, thus cutting down on the need for wasteful electricity. Many companies these days are getting LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This is a big way in which more warehouses are attempting to go green, and it's a great place to start. White roofs to reflect sunlight on sunny days are making an increased emergence on the scene, along with green cleaning products, prismatic skylights, and even rainwater run-off used for watering lawns.

3. Manage your waste stream and recycling better. Waste is an unfortunate yet necessary by product of your warehouse operations. As such, it has to be handled appropriately and in an eco-friendly way if you're going to implement green initiatives and waste management practices. You could achieve this by rolling out internal programs that cut down on workplace waste, boost product design changes for versatile, sustainable end products and recycle where needed to reduce costs for your organization.

Not only can you save money through recycling and waste reduction, you also create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly workplace. Whatever you can do to boost your green factor, whether that's motion sensors on all your lights or an efficiently-designed network that cuts down on forklift transportation costs, will help to curb costs and propel your business into the eco-friendly future of sustainability.

 

 

Tom Reddon is a Forklift Specialist and Blog Manager for National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the MHEDA Executive Dialogue team. Connect with him via Twitter at @TomReddon.

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