Supply chains account for 80% of the greenhouse gas emission and impact on air, land, water and biodiversity, according to a report by McKinsey. Supply chains are one of the major contributors in the carbon emission that takes place through industrial activities. Looking for sustainable solutions not only becomes a need, but also a responsibility for those who are building complex supply chains with a long-term vision. Different processes can be addressed separately to bring in a change in the amount of carbon emission that is released in the environment.
Warehousing and logistics form important parts of the supply chain and hence, are significant contributors of carbon emissions. The warehousing activities are increasing rapidly with the increase in e-commerce demand. This makes it important for warehousing firms to find ways in which they can incorporate green solutions in their daily operations.
What does green warehousing mean?
Green warehousing is a concept of introducing sustainable practices in the warehouse operations that can ensure reduction in carbon emission. A number of practices collectively aimed at reducing carbon footprint are followed over a period of time to create a genuine impact. Optimising the use of resources and using the space efficiently could drive an ecological impact. Following could be a few of the initial steps that could form the base of green warehousing activities.
Energy conservation in a warehouse could start from the basic idea of making use of natural lighting. The consumption can be reduced by use of low-energy LED lights. This would also mean a reduced energy expense.
Use of solar panels is a next big step for conserving energy. The installation expense could be huge but in the longer run, this reduces the dependency on fossil fuels as energy sources and reduces costs to a larger extent.
Installation of insulating doors can help in maintaining temperatures and saving energy hence reducing carbon emissions.
Use of recyclable packaging materials like reusable plastic pallets in warehouses can reduce the wastage and can save costs as well. Also, reusable plastic pallets can prove to be easier to handle due to their lower weight which can increase operational efficiency.
Technological up-gradation becomes important when we consider traditional markets. Automation in warehousing helps in optimal use of space and resources which in turn reduces consumption and hence carbon emission.
Use of electric-lifts for warehousing operations can contribute in the same direction. Internal combustion forklifts can be replaced by electric ones to reduce the energy consumption.
Technology has made it possible for us to go paperless. Reducing the use of single-use paper can be another green practice that can be an impactful step towards sustainability.
Warehousing facilities could adapt practices that reduce the carbon emissions in direct or indirect ways. Green warehousing has become an important business objective in the supply chain industry. Achieving this is not just eco-friendly but also, is helping in saving costs. Teaming – up with logistics service providers, businesses can further aim at setting up a green system.