Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in all areas of the supply chain. Craig Powell, Managing Director of supply chain systems specialist Balloon One, shares his tips for giving your warehouse a more eco-conscious update.

There are a lot of greenhouse-gas emissions coming directly from the supply chain. And, with the UK government announcing an ambitious net-zero carbon emission target for 2050, the pressure is on to create supply chains that are more sustainable.

A more eco-conscious warehouse means reduced environmental impact, but you can also benefit from increased efficiency and productivity in many cases. Plus, as sustainability continues to be a major rising trend among consumers, businesses want to work with other green businesses in the supply chain to help widen their appeal.

So, it’s important introduce sustainability into your warehouse wherever you can. Below, I’ll be sharing some of the best ways to do so.

sustainability in the supply chain

1. Use up-to-date warehouse management systems

In your warehouse design, you should embrace automation and the integration of new technology, including switching to digital warehouse systems. These systems are fast, precise, and intelligent: for example, they can be used to forecast demand based on previous data. Switching to artificial intelligence can produce quicker and more accurate results than if you were to plot or make any changes manually, as you can receive real-time information and suggested solutions to any issues that may crop up.

Warehouse management system software also often includes intelligent fleet management, which can help improve the sustainability of your distribution in a number of ways. From planning more efficient routes to load optimisation, the time and fuel required to distribute your stock can be drastically improved. You may also want to consider swapping your regular fleet vehicles for low emission models, such as electric or hybrid, which can help reduce your carbon footprint.

2. Reduce your waste and energy consumption

Environmental issues, such as the ocean plastic crisis, have been the centre of media attention, and, as such, warehouses need to be prepared to take their waste management seriously. At Aganto, stock and parts are re-used wherever possible, reducing manufacturing, shipping and waste materials. By managing waste, less is sent to landfill and more for recovery and recycling.  Supply chain packaging in also re-used and returnable stillages cut down on waste. In the office environment, Aganto is also working towards a fully paperless process.

It’s also important to make sure you’re not wasting energy either. All electrical equipment provided on a hire basis to Aganto, such as lighting and heaters, is either re-used or recycled through the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) scheme. So when you have an electrical fit out as part of an Aganto warehouse build project, you can be assured of regulatory compliance, while helping to cut down on the consumption of environmentally hazardous electrical products.

3. Make your warehouse building eco-friendly too

While your products and practices may have had an eco-conscious boost, if you’re considering a new or additional warehouse, you should make sure to choose one that has been built sustainably. Focus on warehouses made from recycled and recyclable materials. Aganto use 100% aluminium frames that are 100% recyclable, and the polymer internal walls used are made from recycled UPVC windows.

The buildings themselves feature translucent roofing material, which allows natural light through and reduces the need for electric lighting during the day. You should also look into buildings that are relocatable and can be used for a variety of applications, which can save materials and reduce the carbon emissions associated with the construction process.

The tips in this guide can help you to make more eco-conscious decisions when it comes to your warehouse. Bear them in mind, and you’ll have a more sustainable warehouse in no time.

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