The Greener Side of Green

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 8:50:00 AM

Going Green graphic

Save the Environment & Your Bottom Line 

"Going green" used to mean a major investment with a long-term payout, but today, going green is more affordable, more profitable, and (most importantly) the right thing to do. For OnTrac, it goes beyond using SmartWay-compliant tractors and trailers we're making changes that not only help the environment, but our ability to continue to offer competitive ground shipping rates.

There are a lot of great tips for businesses who want to save money by going green, and here some that have worked for OnTrac, and just might work for you, too: 

    • Install high-efficiency LED lighting
      If you're still using incandescents, energy.gov says you could reduce your electric spending 80% by switching to LED lighting. Light-emitting diodes have no mercury and a recent Energy Department study concluded that they have a much smaller impact on the environment when compared to their incandescent counterparts. It’s an instant-on technology, so we coupled them with motion sensors for even more energy savings in our warehouses. 
    • Upgrade to virtual servers and cloud services
      Gone are the days of rooms full of servers at the office. The topic can get technical quickly, but we've consolidated most of our servers into virtual ones, and are increasing our use of cloud services. It reduced our IT infrastructure costs, increased our redundancy and beefed-up our security.  Virtualizing just 100 servers is the equivalent of planting 1,569 trees or taking 89 cars off the street, so it is definitely something worth considering.
    • Donate old office furniture
    • Our operations are growing, and sometimes that means relocating to larger facilities. When it comes to office furniture, we first try to repurpose it, but that doesn't always work out. We have had success with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, where we can donate gently used future to their ReStore program.  

    • To quote their site: 
      "Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world." 
    • Sell used pallets and packing materials
      Proper packing is an important part of shipping. We use a lot of bulk packaging materials when loading our trucks and we turn to local recyclers to help us dispose them properly. They purchase the used materials, which helps us recuperate some of our costs and continue to offer our customers competitive ground shipping rates.  
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      Add high-volume low-speed fans
    • Keeping the climate under control in a warehouse can be challenging, especially in the summer months. We turned to a high-volume low-speed fan solution to help team members stay cool. 

      Studies by mechanical efficiency experts show that high-volume low-speed fans are the most energy efficient air circulating fans available. Delta T Corp, for example, states that airflow can make workers feel up to 10°F cooler, and according to Bill Prindle, the former Deputy Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, every one-degree change in the thermostat can reduce your energy bill by 3 percent. Adding high-volume low-speed fans helps OnTrac improve comfort and keep costs in check. 

    • Consider joining green organizations
    • OnTrac is a SmartWay Transport Partner, but there are plenty of other state and local environmental organizations worth looking into. They will be able to keep you informed of new ways to help the environment and save money. 

New advancements make it easier for businesses to work towards sustainability, but there’s still plenty that needs happen before we are all truly “green.” The good news is that getting started is easy, and the sooner you start, the more green you'll save. 

Topics: EPA, Go Green, environment, OnTrac Shipping, SmartWay Partner