Green leaf on top of a pile of cardboard boxes illustrating sustainable warehousing


In our modern consumer society supply chains are under constant pressure to deliver more, better, and faster. At the same time, most of the environmental impact caused by meeting rising demands is embedded in this industry. Therefore, all supply chain companies need to focus on sustainability. If not, we will never achieve our global climate goals. 

Profile picture of helene ronnmark, CMO at consafe logistics
Héléne Rönnmark
CMO and Project leader of Consafe’s sustainability work.

 In this blog post, I will have a closer look at the role of the warehouse. What are the drivers for sustainable warehousing, what is it all about, and how can a WMS help you achieve it? 

Why is sustainable warehousing such a big trend?

Today, there are two main drivers for companies investing in sustainability. We can call them Compliance and Competitiveness. The first is about authorities and investors placing higher sustainability demands on companies, including warehouse activities. One example is the EU Taxonomy, an EU-wide classification system to determine what economic activities can be regarded as sustainable. From 1 January 2022 reporting on the EU taxonomy is mandatory and other markets are likely to follow in the future. 

But sustainability is also a matter of keeping your customers happy. According to a survey conducted by IBM, 57% of consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative environmental impact. Talking about sustainability is no longer enough; companies also need to be able to measure, document and prove it. Or they lose valuable business. 


How can you make your warehouse more sustainable?

The concept of sustainability has three dimensions; financial, environmental, and social. In a warehouse, this translates into achieving more with fewer resources, thereby keeping profitability while reducing the ecological footprint. But it also means using technology and optimization to improve the work environment and promote inclusion among warehouse personnel. 

A warehouse management system plays an important role in enhancing sustainability in the warehouse. It predicts, controls, and analyzes operations, thus efficiently using resources and providing data for sustainability reporting.


5 ways a WMS can improve sustainability in your warehouse

  • Allows you to ship less air, with AI-driven functionality to calculate the most efficient packaging for each order.  
  • Reduces transport distance around the warehouse by calculating the shortest pick routes to save energy and reduce wear and tear on your trucks.  

  • Improves inventory accuracy and safety, by allowing and supporting forecasting and smart allocation, avoiding overproducing and overstocking. 

  • Enables effective reporting on sustainability data by facilitating measurement of processes and making data visible. 

  • Helps avoid unnecessary return transports by reducing picking errors through better control by smart scanning or RFID control and extra verification during picking. 

To sum things up, our world faces significant environmental challenges, and more sustainable supply chains are crucial in overcoming them.  Sustainable warehousing is all about using space, people, and equipment efficiently, with the help of technology and solutions, to make our joint resources last as long as possible. 

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