Energy efficiency in warehouses and the Europe 20-20-20 objectives

The Europe 20-20-20 initiative has as its target for 2020 a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% rise in the use of renewable energy and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency.

These targets were set in 2007 by the main European leaders and were later enacted in 2009 through the climate and energy package.

In October, 2012, the European Union adopted the 2012/27/EU directive on energy efficiency to ensure that the third objective of Europe 20-20-20 is achieved.

The reduction of CO2 emissions is becoming a crucial objective, with examples such as the United Kingdom, where they foresee a 34% reduction in emissions in 2020 and up to a 50% reduction in 2050, and where they are introducing modifications to the legislation that affects warehouses, which represent 3% of the total emissions.

One of the factors which contribute to the energy efficiency of a warehouse is the optimisation of space and the trips to be made during maintenance, especially when forklifts are needed. Vertical storage systems by means of self-supporting warehouses and stacker cranes and the palletised metallic shelves which do not need aisles such as push-back pallet racking and compact or drive-in pallet racking not only reduce energy consumption in the forklifts but they also reduce the consumption in lighting since there are fewer aisles to light.

Also, the storage systems designed to increase storage space without having to increase the warehouse building such as multi-tier racking, mezzanines or mobile filing systems, enable the storage needs to be met with smaller buildings, and so these can be designed in an energy efficient way more easily, so reducing the costs of air conditioning and lighting.

ATOX Storage Systems, a leading manufacturer of metal racks, designs and adapts storage solutions to the client’s specific needs, thus optimising their warehouse space and contributing to the improvement in their energy efficiency.