Ingram Book Co. Saves with Energy Efficient Warehousing

by | Feb 3, 2009

Ingram Book Co. distributes over 30 million books a year from a 355,000 square foot warehouse in Oregon, reports the News-Review. Here are some of the steps they’ve taken to save energy and resources:

– By partnering with local businesses, Ingram reduced the waste they send to landfill by 75%.

They compact corrugated cardboard and sell it to a paper company, while another company recycles all their used plastics including shrink wrap, bubble sheets and air pillows to recycle. Ingram buys refilled toner cartridges for its 150 printers, recycles forklift batteries with suppliers, and offers used wooden pallets as firewood to employees and the public.

– The company invested in lighting upgrades which saved 30% on their electricity costs.

They replaced metal halide lights with more efficient fluorescents, and installed motion sensors to control lights.  Contracts with the Energy Trust of Oregon, saved them nearly 40% of the costs of upgrading their warehouse lights. They also use battery-powered forklifts.

– Installing “Macro-Fans” and other temperature control measures is also paying off.

The fans are like common home ceiling fans except they measure 24 feet across. For winter, overhead gas-fired radiant heaters keep workers warm.

Together, these changes are not only saving money, but lead to higher morale and greater productivity, says Wes Melo, Operations Vice President.

EL has also reported how GE saved energy in a warehouse using lighting upgrades, and other ways small businesses are finding to lower their energy costs.

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