One of the main reasons why small organic and natural food businesses have become so popular is that more and more consumers are taking ethics into account when choosing a brand. When food is distributed from a small-scale facility (in many cases, the maker's home) without the use of truck fleets or energy-intensive machinery, buyers can be sure that it has a low impact on the environment.
So, if you're ready to expand your natural food brand and you're looking for a food logistics facility to help you, it's important to find one that takes the environment into account. If you don't, you could be jeopardising the brand integrity you've worked hard to build, losing customers who want to buy from eco-friendly sources.
Thankfully, it's easy to find an eco-friendly logistics partner when you know what to look for. Here are three features that can make a warehouse and distribution chain less harmful to the environment.
Efficient Electricity Use
One of the main practices you should look out for in your food logistics facility is efficient use of electricity. There are many ways logistics companies can use less energy, so don't hesitate to ask the facility you're considering plenty of questions. Warehouses that use LED lights with an automatic switch-off system, for example, likely use far less energy than those with traditional lighting. You may also want to ask your facility if their buildings are well insulated, as better insulation means less electricity used for heating and cooling.
A Recycling Program
Another question to ask your facility of choice is how they handle waste. Most food logistics partners will produce a large amount of waste; most of this comes from packaging, but batteries, chemicals and oils are all common warehouse waste products too. If you want to partner with the most eco-friendly company, it's best to avoid those who dump this waste in the landfill. Instead, try to find a logistics facility that has a comprehensive recycling program, whether they take waste to recycling banks or reuse it themselves in some way.
Finally, find out more about the facility's forklift fleet. Forklifts are often the most-used tool in any food warehouse; if your facility doesn't use eco-friendly ones, they could be emitting a lot of pollution into the atmosphere. Nowadays, the best forklifts on the market are hydrogen-powered forklifts. They charge in just a few minutes without producing any harmful greenhouse gas emissions. If you can't find a logistics facility that uses these vehicles, traditional electric forklifts are the next best thing.