14 Nov 7 Ways for Large Distribution Centers to Reduce Their Ecological Footprint
Most businesses want to go green these days and reduce their ecological footprint. Large distribution centers need to do this more so than other businesses because being an environmentally responsible distribution center is good for everyone. Customers appreciate that such businesses are making an effort to reduce their ecological footprint and this is beneficial for the distribution centers as well.
Following are 7 ways for large distribution centers to reduce their ecological footprint:
1. Going Solar
Distribution centers and warehouses generally cover quite a bit of square footage and their roofs are no different. Going solar (adding solar panels to the warehouse) is one of the best ways to decrease overall electricity costs.
2. Changing Out Lighting
Much has already been said in the past few years about how significantly today’s LED lighting technologies can reduce electricity requirements of distribution centers. But since the margin of improvement is pretty high, it is worth repeating. Changing to LED lighting along with timers or motion sensors that trigger lights, your company can continue to effectively chip away at its energy consumption.
3. Implementing Strict Procedures
Keeping bay doors in loading docks open and allowing trucks to idle for long periods of time when not necessary increases energy usage. Whenever trucks routinely have to stay idle outside of the distribution warehouse due to all your docks being occupied, they burn extra fuel in addition to burning daylight. Make sure that all your employees understand the need to reduce the energy usage and implement strict procedures so that the company’s ecological footprint is reduced.
4. Optimizing Equipment Flow
Forklifts are an essential part of distribution businesses and they cover a substantial number of miles despite the fact that their odometers measure hours rather than distances. These also include the forklifts that are redundant or empty. You can substantially reduce the distances these forklifts and other related pieces of equipment have to travel within your facility by employing product slotting optimization programs. Alternatively, you can consider forklift task interleaving which helps reconfigure the inefficient routes most forklifts follow, allowing them to involve several productive tasks along the way.
5. Replacing or Repairing Dock Doors
Consider switching to faster opening and closing door speeds and/or doors with higher levels of insulation if you want to maintain preferred temperature within your facility. It is also recommended that you keep the sealing around the perimeter of each door well-maintained because even a small breach can lead to significant energy loss and increased costs as it contributes to larger heating and cooling bills.
6. Reuse and Recycle
Filling up the landfill with unused products is one of the primary causes of negative ecological effects on our environment. That’s why it is recommended that you reuse whatever you can and sell, donate, or recycle plastic, cardboard, and anything else. Unsalable products should not go to waste.
7. Route and Delivery Efficiency
Take a look at current routes and shipments and find a way to merge shipments so that the route efficiencies are increased. By doing this, you will increase shipment efficiencies, decrease delivery times, increase the management and amount of shipment, increase your bottom line, give ability to expand, and of course, reduce your ecological footprint.
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