Warehouses are mega-beasts in the world of energy consumption. Making them sustainable is challenging but possible, and the benefits are far-reaching.

Sustainable warehousing can boost financial and operational efficiency through cost-effective practices. In many instances, customers are more loyal to businesses that show they care for the world’s natural resources.

Read on to discover how warehouses can become greener. And learn how Brisbane warehouse labour supply plays into the bigger picture around sustainability.

Changing the Mindset to Sustainability

The journey to sustainable warehousing requires a multifaceted approach. Traditional warehouses tend to face a challenging start. That’s often because their construction may have included the use of materials we’d think twice about using today.

That does not mean it’s game over, as it’s still possible to adopt sustainable practices. These can dramatically reduce a warehouse’s carbon footprint and lead to cost savings through energy efficiency.

One key driver toward sustainability is avoiding excessive or unnecessary energy usage. Warehouses must ensure they don’t over-rely on conventional energy sources. They should incorporate energy-saving machinery and building materials.

Here are some other practical steps a warehouse can take:

  • Switching to next-generation LED lighting
  • Investment in insulation
  • Collecting rainwater for an improved water-management system
  • Installing solar panels and reflective roofing for extra-cooling
  • Planting trees strategically to enhance shade
  • Greater use of natural lighting and the use of greener air circulation processes

For newer warehouses, location is everything. Building near existing transport infrastructure is essential. The result is a reduction in delivery times and associated harmful emissions.

Giving Your Warehouse a Sustainability Overhaul

Warehouses can start by enshrining the move toward sustainability as one of their flagship policies. It is vital to appoint a manager to drive this and enlighten colleagues and staff in the process.

Achieving sustainability requires a team effort that includes an engaged Brisbane warehouse labour supply. It also needs a management team focused on and committed to investing in sustainable alternatives.

The Road to Greater Energy Efficiency

The devil is always in the detail. Warehouse managers need to procure energy-efficient HVAC systems and LED lighting. Motion sensors that control lighting are an essential part of the picture. More environmentally friendly evaporative coolers are an alternative to refrigerant-based air conditioning.

Enlightened warehouse teams already use renewable energy sources. These include solar panels and wind turbines that produce their sustainable energy on-site. Some also incorporate these extras:

  • More skylights to reduce reliance on electric lighting
  • Air recirculation for consistent temperatures
  • A reduction in lighting power density

Green Building Materials

Any renovations in existing warehouses should use sustainable construction materials as standard. These include:

  • Eco-friendly insulation
  • Non-toxic paints
  • Locally produced, recycled or repurposed supplies

Green roof spaces and walls have also become more popular in the past few years. They boost insulation, reduce stormwater runoff and contribute to the health of the local environment.

Saving Water

Plenty of water conservation systems use the latest technology to improve efficiency. Low-flow plumbing fittings and a rainwater collection strategy are simple yet effective solutions. Both reduce reliance on a main supply for more sustainable warehousing.

Sustainable and Efficient Transportation

Efficient transportation must be a top priority to reduce unnecessary emissions. There needs to be more effort made to encourage cross-docking working practices. The high turnover rate involved in cross-docking can reduce the number of trucks needed to get goods to a central warehouse.

There should also be greater investment in greener equipment and electric or hybrid vehicles. This should relate to intra-warehouse transportation and use within the warehouse itself.

Packaging and Better Waste Management

The growth of domestic online orders has led to an increase in packaging. A key goal of all those in the supply chain is waste reduction. The emphasis needs to be on the use and disposal of packaging materials. This should include more encouragement to use biodegradable wrapping, for example.

Warehouses can do their bit by introducing effective waste management techniques. They should adopt fail-safe systems to recycle paper, cardboard and plastic. Storage units can also focus on finding ways to reuse pallets and bulk boxes.

Staff Training

Training staff is vital for effective waste management and sustainable warehousing. A Brisbane warehouse labour supply of staff that understands the part it plays in sustainability will be critical.

Managers should implement working practices that encourage staff to recycle. They need to create a sustainability culture so that workers engage in the goal of becoming greener. They should reward staff for new and refreshing ideas that will make a positive impact on the environment.

Warehouses with on-site dining services should encourage more environmentally friendly practices. They can, for example:

  • Ban plastic cutlery
  • Switch to biodegradable paperware
  • Reduce reliance on single-use coffee pods.

These small changes add up to help reduce a warehouse’s carbon footprint. Cleaning services within a warehouse should also only use environmentally friendly products. These details help encourage a culture of warehouse sustainability.

Analysis and Monitoring

Automated processes make understanding the inner workings of a warehouse far easier. Data analysis, for example, can help predict equipment failure and flag maintenance requirements. This reduces the amount of wasted energy in the process.

Many warehouses have already adopted the latest technology to:

  • Track and optimise their water, energy and waste generation
  • Extract and analyse data for further improvements.

By analysing working patterns, warehouses can schedule maintenance operations and reduce downtime. Making the most efficient use of storage space can also increase the output of a whole host of operations within a warehouse.

Advanced software can also generate a virtual simulation of a warehouse. Managers can use this to boost orders, optimise the use of space and further improve working practices.

An Environmentally Aware Brisbane Warehouse Labour Supply

Tough Yakka is a market leader in warehouse labour supply. Our highly motivated and well-trained staff can step in at a moment’s notice to help your warehouse run more smoothly.

We have encouraged awareness of the role we can all play in warehouse sustainability. Tough Yakka staff are keen to engage with policies related to sustainable warehousing.

Get in touch with one of the friendly Tough Yakka team and get your Brisbane warehouse labour supply sorted today for a better future.