With energy consumption being the second highest expense of a typical cold storage facility (only labor is higher), the reduction of waste and the improvement in efficiency is a primary goal. To reduce our usage and keep our services priced competitively, we have invested in a number of “green initiatives” that not only support a sustainable environment, but also save our clients money. Our “green” strategy includes the following initiatives:
ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
To increase our energy efficiency and reduce our environmental impact, we have partnered with Cascade Energy, Inc. to implement a program to improve operating efficiency and drive down energy consumption. Optimizing equipment operation is one of the fastest and most cost-effective methods to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
This energy-efficiency program covers both the Newfield and Pittston facilities and includes three main elements:
- Implementing a robust energy monitoring system to track energy consumption. This system compares current performance with a baseline model based on historical usage at various production levels and weather conditions. The monitoring system then tracks actions taken and measures their impact on energy efficiency.
- Conducting intensive facility tune-ups (sometimes referred to as retro-commissioning) to identify opportunities for optimizing energy-consuming equipment and systems at RLS facilities.
- Addressing each of the opportunities identified during the tune-up. Then, shifting to a continuous improvement mode, where additional opportunities are determined and addressed to drive incremental improvements and further reduce environmental impact over time.
We took another step toward a sustainable energy future with the commissioning of a 257 kilowatt solar array on the roof of our logistics center in Newfield, NJ. Not only does the power generated by the array provide us with instant cost savings and a reduced dependence on grid power, it does so from a clean, renewable source.
The array produces over 300,000 kilowatt hours a year, enough electricity to power 25 typical homes in the United States. The corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (200 tons per year) is equivalent to taking 40 cars off the road or avoiding 70 tons of landfill waste each year.
The array will deliver energy cost savings over the life of the system, which is expected to be at least 25 years.
Press Release – RLS Logistics Takes NJ Headquarters Solar With HelioSage Energy and Dynamic Solar (PDF)
To reduce our environmental impact and improve the quality and quantity of light for employees at our Pittston facility, we upgraded to fluorescent and sensor-controlled LED lighting fixtures. We replaced T-12 fluorescent and metal halide lighting fixtures with T-8 fluorescents throughout the office space and LEDs throughout our freezer warehouse and loading dock areas.
In addition to improving working conditions, the lighting upgrade has enabled us to shed 127.24 kW from the Pittston facility. The corresponding reduction in CO2 is equivalent to planting 117 acres of trees, saving 48,235 gallons of gas, and removing 75 cars from the road.
In order to transition to a more sustainable energy future, we are participating in an Emergency Load Response Program that allows us to reduce our use of electricity in response to high electricity demand or electricity price spikes. The result is improved operating efficiency and reduced energy consumption.
Participating in a demand response program helps maintain affordable electricity in our local region and provides a clean, cost-effective alternative to building new power plants in the community.