Sustainable warehousing is all about integrating, balancing and managing the economic, environmental and social inputs and outputs of typical warehousing operations. The presence of warehouses and its use represents an important component of efficient sustainable supply chains--going beyond the usual means to store raw materials and finished goods.
As an increasing number of companies enter the logistics business, warehousing operations have now become more attractive to prospective clients and business partners. In fact, to be able to get ahead of the competition, companies are now utilizing sustainable warehousing practices, which include limiting waste, reducing energy costs and improving efficiency--all driving down operational expenses and helping these companies save money.
Before going any further, one must first realize what sustainable logistics is and what it brings to the table. This practice has arisen from the urgent need to address climate change which impacts millions of lives all over the world due to the high levels of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. These emissions come from companies consuming large amounts of fossil fuels to address the needs of their customers and move products from one location to the next. With these in mind, consumers, business leaders, and governments are now seeing the straight connection between the logistics industry and human activities’ impact on the environment.
Looking to address the situation, companies are now practicing sustainable logistics to reduce their impact on the environment via investments in renewable sources of fuel, reducing electricity and water consumption and switching to reusable containers. These help in making the logistics industry more sustainable as companies continue to discover more efficient ways of moving products and cargo around the planet.
Industry experts are quick to point out the benefits to be gained from sustainable warehouse operations, which include reduced operational costs; marketing advantages; improved employee morale and reduced dependency on third party service providers.
A sustainable warehousing operation can result in reduced overhead expenses--limiting fuel consumption to ordering fewer supplies that what is needed. In terms of marketing strategies, these companies can use the sustainability trend to better market its product and services to the public. In fact, if the company makes its warehouse more efficient, it can start incorporating these efforts into its marketing strategy.
Practicing sustainability can also boost the morale of your personnel, making them feel better about the work they do because they know that their company is doing everything to limit its effect on the environment. These employees will now find a greater sense of purpose in doing their jobs. Lastly, the practice of sustainable warehousing offers key control over business practices as companies will not be as dependent on third-party companies and service providers. In turn, the facilities that the company utilizes may not be as negatively impacted by natural disasters, or supplier shortages or mechanical failures.
Companies incorporating sustainability initiatives in their warehouse practices will enjoy financial and environmental sustainability. However, it must also be said that sustainability needs to be strategically managed and given top management support for actions to occur.