Supply Chain Professionals are currently doing all they can to make their business greener, yet a number of companies still can’t afford to re-locate to new, more energy efficient premises.
With green energy generation often too large an investment, and new premises often too expensive, companies often give up at the first hurdle, however there are a number of small scale investments that can be made at Warehouses that can make all the difference!
The key expenditures for warehouses are often on lighting and heating. By addressing these two areas, warehouse managers can make huge savings on their bill, as well as gaining more green credentials.
Attach existing lighting to sensors will dramatically impact the energy use in industrial spaces. There are two varieties of light sensor: motion sensors and ambient light sensors. A motion sensor will detect the movement of workers and thus only turn the lights on in areas which people are using. An ambient light sensor, or daylight sensor, will adjust the brightness of lights depending on how much natural light is available.
Moving to fluorescent light bulbs is also far more energy efficient. Consuming 50 percent less energy than traditional light bulbs, fluorescent bulbs can save money from your energy bills as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
Introducing solar light tubes may also save on the expenditure on lighting. A low cost way to introduce more natural light into the workspace, these light-reflecting tubes can be installed in the roof, and reduce the need for artificial lights.
Moving lighting downwards towards the work area may also help reduce the number of lights needed. Warehouse lighting tends to be very high in the ceiling, often a long way from the workers underneath. By bringing the lights downwards, the lights will shine brighter so a smaller number of lights will be needed.
Switch to programmable thermostats. A huge number of warehouses rely on a temperature-only controlled thermostat, which will maintain the same temperature day or night. These can be wasteful, as they use energy to maintain a temperature when there is no-one working, i.e. over night. A programmable thermostat, however, ensures that heating remains off unless it has been programmed to come one.
Changing your insulation can also be helpful. Many warehouses use the old-fashioned Batt insulation, which is outdated and no longer efficiently insulates buildings. Switching to more modern loose fill or spray foam insulation will result in major energy savings.
Investing in an industrial sized fan could also help the temperature circulate around your warehouse. Installed in the roof, a large fan takes warm air which has risen to the ceiling in winter and funnels it down to the floor. In summer, the same is true of cooler air, which creates a more even climate control all year round.
Investing in a ‘Cool Roof'’ could also result in major energy savings. A reflecting paint which allows the sun’s rays to be reflected rather than absorbed, it keeps your building cooler during the hottest summer months.