Why Should You Make Your Warehouse Operations More Sustainable?

September 04, 2019

There are so many benefits of sustainable business practices—and so many simple yet cost-effective ways you can become a more eco friendly warehouse.

Why would you want to invest in more sustainable warehouse equipment and processes? How can you even get started? The SSE experts are here to explain how sustainability can be a competitive advantage in your business, plus reveal tips for how to improve warehouse operations by going green.

Benefits of Sustainable Business Practices

There are numerous benefits of sustainable business practices that will make your investment in going green more than worth it in the long run. Here are three key advantages of sustainable warehouse operations you won’t want to miss out on.

Lower Warehouse Utilities Expenses

By using more energy efficient motive power equipment, industrial batteries, and chargers, you can drastically reduce overall energy consumption in your warehouse. Additionally, simple tricks such as installing LED lighting and making sure your warehouse is properly insulated (which we will discuss further later) can lower your lighting and air conditioning costs. These small changes can drastically decrease the total cost of your warehouse utilities over time.

Reduce Your Environmental Impact

By reducing overall energy consumption throughout your warehouse, you’re also reducing the amount of electricity, water, and climate-controlled air that is being wasted. Less waste and less pollution minimizes your carbon footprint and the impact that your warehouse has on the environment. While this may seem minor (after all, you’re only one warehouse out of many), if every warehouse made these small changes to reduce their environmental impact, it would make a big difference!

Appeal to Eco-Conscious Consumers

A recent study on corporate social responsibility found that 87% of consumers will have a more positive image of a company that supports environmental issues, and a Neilsen report revealed that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

Even though your warehouse may rarely interact with direct consumers, the stores and other businesses in the supply chain who carry your products or use your inventory certainly do. Your sustainable warehouse practices can be a positive example to other businesses in your supply chain and help them attract eco-conscious customers—driving a positive brand reputation and more revenue for everyone in the process.

How to Improve Warehouse Operations by Going Green

Going green may seem overwhelming and expensive—in reality, there are many small, simple, and cost-effective changes you can make to your daily warehouse operations in order to transform into a more sustainable warehouse. Here are just a few!

Select Energy Efficient Forklift Batteries and Chargers

Adding energy efficient Hawker batteries to your fleet makes going green easy without sacrificing quality or productivity. For example, while most forklift batteries need to be watered every two to three weeks, but the Hawker WATER LESS® battery only needs to be watered four to six times per year—yet has the same run time and cycle life. This allows you to reduce your maintenance and utility expenses, as well as water waste. Additionally, the Hawker ENERGY-PLUS™ battery provides up to 20% more energy than conventional industrial batteries—resulting in fewer change outs, reduced equipment downtime, and less storage speed needed to keep spare batteries and chargers on hand.

You can also leverage energy efficient industrial chargers, such as the the LIFEPLUS® MOD3—one of the smartest and most energy-efficient charges that provides five flexible charge profile options. This charger’s superior energy efficiency helps you reduce the total cost of ownership, optimize charging schedules, and increase the useful life of your forklift batteries. Overall, energy efficient chargers reduce your total energy consumption, lowering both the cost of your electricity bills and your environmental impact.

Leverage Recycled Batteries

Recycled batteries can be easier both on the environment and your budget! Used forklift batteries are much more affordable than new ones—however, you want to be sure you aren't sacrificing quality to save money. Luckily, Hawker has implemented a recycling program that allows spent lead-acid batteries to be reclaimed so they can be used again, and are held to such a high standard that they are guaranteed to be a dependable powersource for your forklifts.

However, if you’d rather purchase new batteries than used ones for your own use, you can still do your part by recycling them after you are done with them. Whether you are leveraging recycled forklift batteries in your own operations, sending out your used batteries so that they can be recycled and used by another warehouse, or both, participating in battery recycling is a powerful way to put more eco friendly warehouse processes in place.

Invest in Energy Efficient Lighting and Proper Insulation

Upgrading to energy efficient lighting is one of the most simple ways to make your warehouse operations more sustainable. Consider swapping out old-fashioned light bulbs throughout your warehouse for a more energy efficient option, such as LED lighting. LED bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or even better light quality than traditional bulbs. So, even though switching out all of the bulbs in your warehouse will be an up-front cost, you’ll save on your electricity bill and won’t have to buy replacements as frequently.

Another major drain on energy consumption is poor or insufficient insulation that allows climate-controlled air to escape from your warehouse. This often happens in the loading dock area since your dock doors are constantly being opened and closed to allow trucks and inventory to move in and out.

If the air you’re paying to heat up or cool down your warehouse isn’t staying inside, you’re driving up your heating and cooling bills while wasting electricity. To combat this, use proper dock seals and shelters to keep the climate controlled air you’re paying for actually inside—saving you from wasteful spending and energy consumption while creating a more pleasant working environment for your staff.

If you’re ready to transform your facility into a more eco friendly warehouse so you can reap the many benefits of sustainable business practices, reach out to an SSE expert. We’ve got the energy efficient warehouse equipment you need today—plus the comprehensive warehouse services to keep it running at maximum capacity long-term!

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