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Green Business Initiative Number 1: Automation

Going green means to practice certain actions in order to benefit the environment. By Olivia Mitchell

As seen in recent headlines, major companies like Kellogg Co., UPS and Google are executing large sustainable and “green” goals not only to benefit the company’s bottom line, but to accommodate consumers. 

An online study by Nielsen found that three-out-of-four millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable products.  Companies that market their sustainability practices are more likely to build brand reputation and grow loyalty among younger consumers.

Three popular ways to “go green” in the workplace are to reduce carbon emissions, purchase green products, and implement automation into your warehouse.

Adding automation, like an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), to a warehouse not only improves operation efficiency, but is also a great way to “go green.” Some of the many factors that the AS/RS can improve include: land use, waste consumption and energy consumption.

AS/RS compared to a conventional warehouse Compared to conventional storage systems, an AS/RS decreases the need for space by 40%. So by utilizing the smaller space more efficiently, the remaining “green” space doesn’t need to be removed in order for the company to add onto their warehouse.

Westfalia’s AS/RS is designed for each specific business model, maximizing space for more storage.  Systems can be designed to store single deep, double deep or up to 18 pallet loads deep.  Don’t let the misconception that you need to have a specific size building or number of SKUs scare you away from automation. In fact, an AS/RS can be implemented into a variety of facility sizes helping large, medium and small companies create a more sustainable company.  Potential AS/RS savings

Typically in a warehouse, waste arises from damaged products and the majority of that is because of fork trucks. Rather, an AS/RS uses conveyors and a storage and retrieval machine (S/RM), which eliminates human error and can reduce damaged product. Incorporating a warehouse execution system (WES) with the AS/RS increases product picking accuracy, thus decreasing the amount of waste. The WES also optimizes material flow which will add to providing more efficient use of your equipment and warehouse space.

Lastly, energy consumption decreases with an AS/RS due to fewer interior lights, less space needed to heat and cool, and regenerative braking. In fact, refrigerated and frozen warehouses can see lower energy costs of 30% or more when using automation.

By implementing automation instead of operating in a conventional warehouse, you can increase safety, save money, and become more eco-friendly. Keep your business in the black and learn more about making green initiatives a goal for your business in our white paper “Going green can put your business in the Black.”

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