A well-managed and sustainable warehouse significantly supports a company’s environmental objectives. In addition, consumers and the broader community demand that companies become responsible corporate citizens by reducing their environmental impact. Thus, the emphasis on sustainability has grown.
According to a survey conducted by IBM, 57% of consumers are willing to alter their purchasing habits to contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts. However, simply discussing sustainability is no longer sufficient; companies must also be capable of measuring, documenting, and substantiating their sustainable practices.
If companies don’t engage in sustainability practices, they fall foul of the legal compliance framework and may lose valuable business as consumers choose to support more eco-friendly businesses.
A reputable warehouse management system can help an organisation achieve its sustainability goals. There are three critical reasons for sustainable warehousing.
1. Cost Saving
Sustainable warehouses can help companies reduce operational expenses.
Here are some examples of both large and small changes which allow warehouse operations to contribute to the sustainability targets and, at the same time, lower overall operational costs:
1. Installing solar panels on the warehouse roof can generate electricity and significantly save utility bills.
2. Saving rainwater from rooftops and reusing grey water from bathrooms can lower water expenses by reducing the need to consume fresh water.
3. Automated lights which turn off when no one is in an area help lower a warehouse’s electricity bill. Also, with South Africa’s current electricity crisis, putting less pressure on the grid is the right thing to do.
Installing space-saving technologies such as denser racking or automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) help maximise warehouse storage capacity with a smaller footprint goes a long way to creating a sustainable warehouse, reducing the company’s environmental footprint. Maximising warehouse storage space can delay the need to relocate or build a bigger facility to accommodate the company’s growth.
2. Improved Productivity
Embracing sustainability in the workplace can boost productivity by creating a pleasant and engaging work environment for employees. Also, when employees’ values align with their employers’ values and contribute to the broader society, they are more motivated and content.
Make employees part of the solution by encouraging them to propose sustainability ideas and initiatives. It fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, as they feel empowered to positively impact the company and the community.
Moreover, implementing sustainable business practices empowers current employees and attracts top-tier talent with the same sustainability values. This alignment of ideals can contribute to a high-calibre workforce and drive organisational success.
3. Maximises Product Quality
Evaluating all aspects of a warehouse’s operations is essential to improve productivity, product quality, and sustainability goals. Many industries are adopting ‘lean manufacturing’, which originated from the Toyota Production System. Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach and philosophy focused on maximising efficiency and minimising waste in manufacturing processes.
Waste is reduced by eliminating non-value-added operations, detecting and resolving defects, and preventing future issues. This waste can be in the form of unnecessary materials, human effort, or any action that consumes time or space.
Eliminating operations that limit the quality of products or services is vital to developing sustainable practices. To this end, a warehouse management system is imperative.
Non-compliance to environmental statutes and ignoring an increasingly environmentally conscious consumer can be disastrous. Aside from the legal fallout, the reputational damage can derail a company as consumers take their money elsewhere. A reliable warehouse management system provider such as Apex RTS can assist in establishing eco-friendly and sustainable warehouses for your company.
Apex RTS is one of South Africa’s top warehouse management system providers. Our various warehouse management consulting services and warehouse management solutions help our clients improve their efficiency and productivity.