For the last two decades, society as a whole has been more aware of the benefits of using sustainable resources. Consumers have come to expect companies to be environmentally conscious. Just because a company claims to be “green,” does not mean it is. Consumers will research and purchase from companies that are eco-friendly. There are many things you can do to implement green practices. We will focus on the easiest changes that will have a substantial impact.
What can you do to “go green” in your warehouse?
- Upgrade Lighting
- Energy Efficient Equipment
- Go Paperless
There are many ways businesses can reduce in the warehouse. One way is to reduce the amount of packaging used. Advances in packing materials allow for efficient packaging with less weight. The lower weight will reduce shipping costs and lessen the energy needed to move the package.
Part of becoming eco-friendly is reusing items as much as possible. This can be as simple as reusing pallets in the warehouse. Instead of using disposable string pallets switch to wood or plastic pallets. Wooden pallets can be used 15-20 times, and plastic pallets can be used 80-100 times. While both are good choices, high quality plastic pallets are the greener option. They last longer and are lighter, so they require less energy to move.
Anything that can be recycled should be recycled. Corrugated boxes should be sent to recycle, where they can be made into new boxes. Worn out plastic pallets should be recycled where they can be melted down and reformed into new pallets.
One of the easiest ways to go green is to switch to LED lighting. While the initial cost is more than that of a regular light bulb, LED bulbs last longer and require less energy to run. In addition, instead of illuminating the whole warehouse, switch to motion sensors to light up areas as they are used. These small changes in a large warehouse will have a huge impact on both your electric bill and the environment.
Energy Efficient Equipment
In the same way consumers are looking for cars that are more energy efficient, warehouse managers should seek out energy efficient equipment. Most warehouse equipment, like forklifts, run on electricity or petroleum. Whichever you choose, make sure you check gallons per hour and wattage usage before making a purchase. In addition, keeping up with maintenance will reduce waste and charging electrical equipment during off peak hours will reduce energy usage and lower your electric bill.
Going paperless may seem difficult at first. Don't pick lists and packing slips require paper? The answer is - no. To eliminate the need for printing a pick list, invest in some inexpensive easy to use tablets that pickers can use to access their pick list as they move through the warehouse. As for packing slips, instead of printing one to place into the box as it is packaged, email the packing list to the customer. This will reduce your paper use tenfold, and have a huge environmental impact.
SkuNexus is a fully customizable commerce operations platform that can help you create paperless pick lists. Click here to learn how SkuNexus can help you go green in 2020!