A few years ago, sustainability was largely a buzzword, but now it’s a business imperative. Recent data from Forrester shows that, because of the pandemic, 68% of US adults are stepping up their efforts to identify brands that reduce environmental impact, and 61% actively seek out energy-efficient labels when making purchases.
How does warehousing and logistics fit into the picture?
According to a January 2021 report from the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group, eight supply chains -- food, construction, fashion, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, automotive, professional services, and freight -- account for more than half of global emissions. Warehousing and logistics facilities represent a significant link in these supply chains, as well as one that continues to expand as demand for goods grows and e-commerce accelerates.
There are several actions the warehousing sector can take to limit its environmental impact, including using renewable energy sources and electric vehicles. But perhaps the area where facilities can make the biggest difference is in adopting a green cleaning program.
Cleaning isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when people think about sustainability, but it should -- it’s done every day, it requires energy, and it uses water and chemicals. As such, it offers an excellent opportunity to boost your environmental-friendliness.
Top benefits of sustainability
- Profits. Deutsche Bank reviewed 56 academic studies and found that companies with high environmental, social, and governance ratings outperform the market in both the medium and long term.
- Cost savings. One study found that companies’ low carbon investments produce an internal rate of return between 27 and 80%.
- Risk management. According to McKinsey, the value at stake from sustainability concerns like climate change can be as high as 70% of gross earnings globally. In another survey, 72% of suppliers to multinational companies said that climate change presents risks that could significantly impact their operations, revenue, or expenditures.
- Employee relations. This one is especially important right now, as companies are struggling to keep their workers. A study found that in companies with strong sustainability programs, employee morale was 55% better and loyalty was 38% better than in companies with poor sustainability programs. These positive feelings translated into less employee turnover.
Environmental hazards associated with cleaning
While proper cleaning obviously brings many benefits, such as health, safety, and productivity, cleaning products and equipment also contribute to your overall environmental impact.
- Cleaning products like detergents and sanitizers can contribute to water and air pollution and also degrade indoor environmental quality.
- Cleaning uses a lot of water, fuel, and electricity.
Visit our Warehousing and Logistics page to learn more.