Sustainable Logistics International makes a good point, “With climate change becoming an increasingly bipartisan issue, the PR value of operating green and efficient warehouses is substantial.” Reducing the carbon footprint of your warehouse will also reduce operational expenses on your bottom line. No matter what you think about the issue, making your warehouse a little more energy efficient is a good idea. Here are some ways you can do it and get back a decent ROI for the business.
Start with Smart Lighting
Lighting in your warehouse is both a safety and security issue. The answer is usually to flood the entire place with bright white light—including the areas that aren’t always in use. This actually is a waste of resources and no longer necessary with the latest technologies that light only the areas you need. The cost savings in your monthly electric bill will pay for these tools, which could include:
- Motion sensors that trip when a vehicle or person enters the area, turning on the lights in the process.
- Integrated warehouse management systems can also control lighting as people pass in and out of the area. Wireless sensors trigger lighting and dimming controls.
Old fashioned sodium arc lights are no longer efficient, and many companies have discarded them for fluorescents. Fluorescents can save up to 80% over the old sodium halide lights. One drawback is these lights give off heat, which is something you definitely don’t want. But even fluorescent lights aren’t as energy efficient as LEDs. LEDs are 50% more efficient even than fluorescent and they emanate no heat. This will not only save you on your electric bill but also on your cooling costs.
What About Walls and Doors?
It’s the access points to and from a warehouse that release heat and cold into the environment. Keeping a warehouse the right temperature for the goods inside, as you know, is critical to efficient storage. Insulated walls, doors, and windows, if you have any, will help you maintain a more regulated internal temperature. One problem though is the cavernous space itself; it’s simply hard to maintain a core temperature in a building the size of a football field. Some companies have solved the issue by installing partition walls and subdividing their space. That way, instead of cooling the entire warehouse, they only need to regulate a section to fit the needs of the good inside.
Landscaping for Climate Control?
This may sound like a strange idea for a warehouse, but planting around your warehouse actually makes a difference in the energy you need to heat or cool it. If you have an asphalt parking lot around your warehouse, the radiant temperature from the dark surface can increase the temperature. However, try placing grass and trees around the building to cool down surfaces. As a bonus, you’ll create a more comfortable environment for your employees to sit outside and relax in.
Speaking of employees, Stellar Staffing works closely with our clients to ensure they have the right mix of candidates flowing into their organization at the right time. We can help you meet your hiring goals. Call on us to find out more.