April 22 is the day to appreciate Mother Earth
Recognized as Earth Day, April 22 is the day to say let’s appreciate Mother Earth. The day is marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of environmental action. Not only a day of action but the day that the Paris Accord Agreement was signed. An agreement that for the first time united rich and poor nations together to fight climate change.
There were many calls to action from world leaders on the day the Paris Accord was signed. This one from Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany says it all.
“It is no exaggeration to say that climate action is no more and no less than a survival issue. The Paris Agreement is the first time that the entire world community has obligated itself to act in the battle against global climate change.” Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Now at Wills Transfer, we are no Paris Accord, but we work hard to reduce our impact on the environment.
Our Environmental Actions
So, let’s bring you in on some of the actions we have taken on our journey to appreciate Mother Earth.
One big investment for us was replacing the fluorescent lights at our Distribution Centres. Fluorescent lights contain fluorine, neon, lead powder, and mercury. Switching to LEDs reduces these chemicals and keeps them from ending up in landfills.
Keeping chemicals out of water streams is as equally important too. It is astonishing that it only takes 4mg of mercury to contaminate up to 7,000 gallons of water. Fluorescent lights sent to landfills contain enough mercury to pollute nearly the entire North American water steam. Not good.
Additionally, our LEDs are on motion sensors so when there is no warehouse activity the lights are off. So, switching to LED lights saves us money and helps to protect the environment. That’s a win for us and Mother Earth.
We installed single ply roofing membranes on 80% of our Distribution Centres. The white membrane deflects heat in the summer, so the interior temperature of our warehouses is a cool 72-75 degrees. A cool 72-75 degrees without the use of mechanical air conditioning. We are good!
Another big investment for us was to look up to our warehouse roofs and the sun. Did you know that we have 250KW roof-mounted solar panel systems at two of our warehouses? The two rooftop solar systems produce and store power. The metered power is then sold back to Ontario Hydro. Who would have ever thought Ontario Hydro would have an accounts payable department!
Similarly, we’ve upgraded our loading docks with energy-efficient insulated doors to keep the cold out during the winter months.
Material Handling, Lift Trucks
Although material handling may not sound very exciting it does play a key role at Wills Transfer. Without it, we could not provide the high level of service that we do for our clients.
Our preference for material handling is electric lift trucks. Electric lift trucks don’t produce the same harmful emissions as diesel or propane trucks do. They are quieter and the lack of emissions is better for both our employees and the environment. Also, they do not create waste liquids like coolant and oil that are damaging to the environment when disposed of. Call them the Tesla of material handling equipment.
We look for new takes on old ideas. With this in mind, we test and purchase equipment that can handle multiple pallets and lower our power consumption.
We ask and then research. Can we harness the power of the sun to charge our forklifts? Is there eco-friendly equipment available? We are always thinking!
So, material handling may not be exciting but lower power consumption and increased efficiencies are.
In the beginning, transportation was a primary revenue source for us. Today it’s a smaller revenue, but we still work hard to reduce emissions that let us appreciate Mother Earth.
Equipped with limiters our transport’s top speeds are 100KM. Speed limiters increase fuel savings and provide the benefit of greenhouse gas reduction. And ELDs (electronic log devices) give our drivers real-time screen data of their driving which reduces fuel consumption too. We invest in automatic transmissions and drivetrains that again improve our fuel efficiencies. In fact, as of 2022, we have no manual shift trucks at Wills. Who knows, maybe our next fleet of transports will be all-electric like the eCASCADIA by Freightliner?
Finally, our transports use DEF a (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) that keeps them operating within emission guidelines. DEF cuts emissions by preventing unburnt fuel from being exhausted into the air.
Office and Admin, Operations
At Wills, we don’t just appreciate Mother Earth at our Distribution Centres and on the road. Our operations do their part too. We repurpose, reduce and reuse electronics. Printers set to ink saving mode or avoid printing whenever possible, (yep, we do that). Cardboard, stretch wrap, load dunnage, and pallets, get recycled too. Plastic and paper, to the curb with that stuff.
So, at Wills Transfer, we are no Paris Accord, but we do appreciate Mother Earth.
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