Businesses in the warehousing sector rely on energy for lighting, heating, production, ventilation, storage and processing, which has adverse impacts on the environment. Luckily, they can take certain steps to reduce this energy consumption and lower their environmental impact. Businesses in the industrial building, manufacturing and warehousing sectors have an adverse impact on the environment. This makes it vital to implement eco-friendly strategies and practices that lower energy consumption and carbon footprint, reducing this impact.
What is energy consumption?
Energy consumption simply refers to the energy used to perform an action such as manufacturing a product. In factories and warehouses, energy consumption tends to be high since most processes rely heavily on energy sources to function. Unfortunately, high energy consumption is directly related to climate change, air pollution, water pollution and increased carbon footprint.
Energy consumption in the UK
According to government figures, the household average energy consumption in the UK ranges between 8.5 to 10 kWh, with an average of 3760 kWh per year. As for small and micro UK businesses, the average energy usage is between 10,000 kWh and 35000 kWh per year for electricity and gas. On the other hand, medium-sized businesses use between 60,000 kWh and 115,000 kWh, while large companies use around 155,000 kWh.
In warehousing and logistics companies, the average energy usage is 3.2billion kWh/m2 with associated carbon emissions of 698,000. These numbers vary depending on use, with factories, manufacturing plants and warehouses using the most energy.
How to cut down on energy use
It’s important for warehouses to cut down on energy use to lower the environmental impact of their activities and carbon footprint. You can do this by implementing various energy consumption reduction strategies, including:
- Adopt more efficient lighting systems such as LED to reduce lighting costs
- Install roof and wall insulation to reduce energy outlays
- Introduce warehouse temperature control
- Utilise use of overhead space by installing a mezzanine floor or a multi-tiered shelving system
- Use energy-efficient powered solutions for your equipment, such as forklifts powered by gas or solar panels instead of electricity
- Use of energy-efficient heating and ventilation systems
- Use compact storage systems to lower the energy used to maintain temperatures in these areas
- Investing in world-class and up-to-date industrial and handling solutions
- Raise energy consumption reduction awareness within the company, ensuring teams know the company’s mission of reducing carbon emissions
Making energy awareness part of your warehouse culture
It’s important to ensure that stakeholders and employees in your warehouse know the benefits energy efficiency can bring to your business. Engage all staff in energy management programs and courses to ensure they understand energy consumption and how to reduce it. Communicate your aims and objectives regarding energy usage and reduction so that everyone is on the same page. Be sure to regularly review warehouse facilities to identify energy-saving opportunities.
Ultimately, there are many changes you can make to your warehouse to reduce its energy use and lower your carbon footprint. With these energy consumption strategies, your warehouse can operate and achieve its goals while maintaining an eco-friendly business.