Warehouse Sustainability StrategiesApril 23, 2013
Distribution center and warehouse sustainability design is a topic I find fascinating. A few months ago, I read an article about trends in sustainable design which did a great job capturing some vital points that touched on creative solutions and examples of how sustainability can incorporate innovative technologies, and provide some very beneficial cost-saving ideas.
Keep in mind that in addition to providing potential energy cost-savings, many states have valuable energy incentives which can add even more savings to a company’s budget. The list of sustainability strategies below highlights a few ideas which may provide facility operators and business owners with some options they hadn’t previously considered.
1. Smarter Location Planning– One of the most important criteria for successful warehouse sustainability is the warehouse location. Since transportation costs have an enormous economic impact and ecological implications, more businesses are looking to move to locations closer to their customers and inbound ports. Something as small as altering a travel route can result in a sizeable return on investment.
2. Improved Lighting Options– Energy efficiency not only helps the economic bottom-line, it is also an important way to support the environment. Finding and using the best energy-saving products and solutions is always good business; and with recent improvements in the quality of energy efficient lighting options, there are many fixture choices and products to choose from for facility lighting.
3. Recycling, Reusing, and Repurposing– There is no doubt in most people’s minds that the best way to save money is to make the most out of what you have and find innovative and creative ways to reuse and recycle. Studies have shown that creative repurposing and reuse can bring down operating costs and waste reduction, especially in regard to building and construction. For instance, instead of building a new structure, why not consider renovating a vacant, existing structure for deeper savings and reduced costs?
4. Consider a Net Zero Building– The term “Net zero” refers to a building with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. This concept allows for a range of approaches for producing and conserving energy, which allows for lower warehouse sustainability costs. One example is the use of solar panels. It is important to seek reputable professionals in order to obtain the proper rating and certifications for a net zero building.
5. Not Just Greener, but Smarter– Smart building technologies can provide substantial energy savings and efficiency improvements for managing industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities. Improvements and innovation in building management systems have expanded the ability to determine early equipment problems in order to avoid costly repairs.
6. Utilizing High-Volume, Low-Speed Fans – Air conditioning costs, especially in areas of the country which experience very extreme heat, can have a huge impact on a company’s budget. By installing high-volume, low-speed fans, a firm could feasibly see a 12 to 50 percent savings in energy costs without sacrificing the comfort of their employees. These specialize fans can be monitored in a centralized location to regulate temperatures year-round.
The bottom line: Keep an open mind and examine the pros and cons of warehouse sustainability options. Consider alternatives and energy-reducing products and systems. While each company has their own unique set of challenges and budgets to consider, reducing costs and improving energy waste is never a bad investment.This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.