There seems to be a lot of talk in the logistics sector to "go green". If you read the trade journals you will see a lot of information and discussions on green initiatives in trucking, shipping, ports, and warehousing. First, you must understand there is a very big difference between "going green," and what I call a lot of "green talk," where companies promote themselves and environmentally friendly but really aren't. With that being said Neill Cartage and Warehouse has taken several actions to become Chicago's green public warehouse.
What sorts of things will you find in one of these green warehouses?
Here are a few of the things Neill Cartage and Warehouse has done or is doing become Chicago's green public warehouse.
Materials and pallets:
New materials other than wood for pallets seem to last longer, are stronger and more easily recycled.
Neill Cartage and Warehouse uses reuseable plastic pallets.
The logistics sector uses a ton of paper, but as their IT systems become better, things are now being tracked electronically, without much paper involved. Any logistics company that claims to be green must reduce the paperwork too.
Neill's, Chicago Warehouse, has recently installed a new tracking system which allows them to work almost in a paperless environment.
Warehouses are perfectly suited for solar power due to the large amount of roof space. Now that solar panels are more efficient and less costly, this is a must for any green warehouse plan.
Neill's warehouse in Chicago is currently discussing putting solar panels on the roof with their energy company. We will have more to blog about this matter in a few weeks!
Use LED ultra-low wattage light bulbs, some as low as 3 watts or less. Turning light off when they are not needed. Also use sky lights to provide natural light through out the building.
Neill's, Chicago warehouse, was designed to use natural light to provide most of its lighting. We have sky lights in every other bay that provide plenty of natural light. All of our light bulbs are LED ultra-low wattage.
Hydrogen cell Fork Lifts:
If we are truly worried about CO2 emissions and the air quality for the workers in warehouses why not move to hydrogen cell forklifts. Many warehouses have converted to electric units, but hydrogen cell seems really leading edge.
Neill's next fork lift purchase will mostly likely be an electric unit. We currently are operating propane powered fork lifts, but would like to start using something a little more green.
If you have any suggestions for Chicago's green public warehouse we would love to hear them. We are always looking for more efficient ways to go green.