June 03 2013

ASRS goes green

By: Staci Cretu, M.S.
Marketing and Communications Manager

We hear the term ‘sustainability’ used throughout many disciplines. Sustainability means to “maintain", "support," or "endure.” Sustainability issues reach into almost every aspect of daily life. We can all work toward adding sustainable practices to our businesses and daily lives.

When discussing sustainability for a warehousing situation, design is the first step in creating a winning facility. Whether a facility is being upgraded to incorporate sustainable features or being built from scratch, the design process is integral in making sure systems work together and the focus is toward maintaining this sustainability in the future.

It may seem like a daunting task to undertake, but programs are available that offer a way to calculate sustainability. LEED certifications offered through the U. S. Green Building Council are highly valued and prove an established ‘green’ value for a building project, which often leads to higher economic values.

Modern Material Handling has put together 7 of the most popular trends for the sustainable design of warehouses and distribution centers. They are:

  1. Location really is everything: Building a distribution center or warehouse close to customers and transportation centers reduces energy consumption and environmental emissions.
  2. Smart lighting: Combining natural daylight with energy saving lighting and sensors reduces energy use.
  3. Recycle, reuse, repurpose: We hear that all the time and why not? Redeveloping vacant buildings, choosing construction materials made from recycled products, and continuing to incorporate recycling into the running of the facility to cut down on waste are ways to increase sustainability.
  4. Aim for net-zero: To attain net-zero status, a building must produce as much energy as it uses. Creating a renewable energy strategy is a significant attribute of a sustainable facility.
  5. Smart buildings: Automated buildings with energy management systems monitor the use of electricity, gas, water, and other utilities to make the most efficient use of energy.
  6. Add fans: High-volume, low-speed fans are extremely efficient at cooling and regulating warehouses and distribution centers. A networked fan system is able to reduce heating and cooling costs without causing any discomfort among employees.
  7. Define sustainability goals: Determine what the motivation is behind pursuing sustainability and learn about incentives and programs that may be eligible.

Westfalia takes sustainability to heart and is making strides to incorporate sustainability initiatives into warehouses and distribution centers. Our High Density Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) is designed with a smaller footprint allowing construction of smaller buildings and lower energy costs. The Storage/Retrieval Machines (S/RM’s) associated with this system feature energy savings with regenerative braking and smooth handling of pallets during transport.

Food Logistics Top Green Provider Logo2013
Food Logistics Green Provider

And, to solidify our commitment to sustainability, we have been recognized with inclusion into Food Logistics 2013 Top Green Providers list, which “focuses on sustainability in the global food supply chain with profiles of companies who are exceeding industry standards in their sector.” We are proud and honored to be acknowledged as a leader in sustainable warehousing initiatives.

To learn more about Westfalia’s Green Sustainable Design solutions, please contact us today!