Each year we re-evaluate our company's ecological footprint and find ways to make improvements so each year is a little better and a little greener than the year before. 2021 is bringing with it a lot of exciting sustainability projects for us.
Moving into our own building has allowed us to embark on an extensive efficiency upgrade, and this year we are so excited to be able to make improvements to nearly all building systems.
We started with an energy audit to collect information on our energy usage and projected savings. To accomplish this, we had engineers go through our building and all its systems to figure out how we could best conserve energy while improving the working environment for our staff. The projects we decided to do this year will drop our building's energy usage by almost half!
When we took possession of the building, the lights were old, inefficient fluorescent and halogen fixtures that sucked loads of energy and barely lit the spaces. It was time for a change. Working with PEC, we were able to design a complete overhaul to the building's lighting system. Every single bulb and fixture in the building is being replaced with a brighter, more efficient, LED. By the end of April, our warehouse and offices will be flooded with glorious, clean white light. Most spaces will work on automatic motion occupancy sensors so that if an area is unoccupied, the lights will automatically turn off. The lighting alone should result in about a 70% reduction of energy usage!
A big, open concrete warehouse can be chilly in winter – the heaters would run constantly and the space still felt like an icebox – so we're building an insulated wall to partition off a smaller area where all the manufacturing, order pulling and packing happen. This will allow us to selectively heat the area where people spend most of their time, making work in production or on the pack floor way more comfortable (and saving lots of heating energy).
We also split up the fresh air venting system so it can be used independently on either side of the wall. This way if we need to cycle the air on the deep storage side of the warehouse during winter, we don't freeze out the rest of the workplace. The fresh air system is being set up on an automatic sensor, so that during hot summer days, it vents the space overnight, and everyone gets to come in to a fresh, cool, warehouse – all for just the cost of some fans.
In our offices, we have installed new smart thermostats and upgraded the damper system to more efficiently heat and cool the spaces.
A taller warehouse meant we needed our own dedicated forklift, and opting for an electric one seemed only natural. Electric forklifts are a good bit more expensive than their gas-powered equivalents, but they don't fill the space with carbon monoxide and they're almost completely silent. Our new electric forklift is scheduled to arrive at our warehouse this Friday!
In response to the pandemic, and in order to ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible now and in the future, we installed an LED UV air sanitizer and upgraded filters into our building's HVAC system. performing maintenance on all the vents and dampers, and upgrading the filters.
• Filtered water bottle filling stations
• No disposable plates, cups, napkins or bottles in the kitchen
• Reusable hand-drying towels in bathrooms (sanitized between uses)
• We continue to offset our company's carbon footprint through a partnership with CarbonFund.org