Keele Warehousing and Logistics Goes Green

Keele Warehousing and Logistics

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

Keele Warehousing and Logistics is a distribution company started by James Appelbe and Julie Appelbe. This company offers a variety of distribution services, including inventory information upon shipment, activity reports, complete on/off loading and cross-docking of trailers and overseas containers, order-picking, shrink-wrapping, as well as on-site packaging and labeling. They have built themselves up from the ground and become experts at shipping hazardous materials, as well as dry goods, canned food products.

Author

William Mauchan

William Mauchan

School

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University

Professors

Kent Williams

Kent Williams

Malti Puri

Malti Puri

Innovation

Since the beginning, Keele Warehousing and Logistics have always been about pushing forward and having innovation in a relatively dull industry. They pride themselves on innovation in the form of new technology and new products. The company did facility retrofits with hydro for more efficient lighting (purchased and installed less energy consuming lights). They also changed from propane forklifts to battery powered electric forklifts. These both directly correlate with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal number 7. This Goal is all about clean and affordable energy. They also installed air exchangers around doors to help keep the heat in or out depending on the weather to save energy. Having these sustainable energy and energy waste reductions in place proves that the company is forward-looking and always aiming to improve.

Keele Warehousing and Logistics Goes Green

Inspiration

Back in 2009 James Appelbe said they could see that the world was needing some change and wanted it to start where they could control. “There was no better place to start than in our own home and business,” said James Appelbe. It emerged because in this day and time doing your part to help the environment is important. The company wanted to turn to greener energy to benefit themselves but also to stay competitive in the business and help the environment and that is exactly what they have done. It is very hard for the distribution businesses to minimize their carbon footprint as they are one of the leading sources of C02 being released into the atmosphere. This is why it's important to James and Julie Appelbe to make sure they are doing all they can.

Overall impact

James Appelbe was involved heavily in the creation and transformation of the warehouses. He was the one who originally started looking into turning to green energy back in 2009. Later in 2011 he hired engineers for the company to study savings and how changing lights and forklifts, would help save money and also benefit the earth. They also had someone come in and study air curtains/shields and what savings they could offer. These innovations help Keele Warehousing and Logistics save thousands of dollars a month.

Business benefit

There is no specific company mission or purpose to incorporate green energy written into the mission of the company. However, the owner, James, believes that we have an obligation in society to be lowering emissions and our carbon footprint. “You need to do that in a small business as a leader and leading company that people want to be involved with, good for customers to see that you are making steps,” said James. There were a lot of benefits to the business for turning to green energy. The green initiative was very good for awareness to customers and the benefits are saving money and helping the environment. The change to the forklifts was brought into help keep the facility cleaner and give their workers a better experience while using it. The old forklifts were outdated and needed an upgrade. This is inline with the UN's 8th Sustainable Development Goal to create and have "decent work and economic growth". The return on the investment was quick from savings and energy standpoint. It was a pretty hefty investment but after a couple years they have easily paid for themselves in the energy savings.

Social and environmental benefit

When one business begins to go green it can encourage their competitors to move towards greener energy. Customers are beginning to prioritize companies with smaller environmental impact. One business does not make a huge impact on society, however, if you multiply this impact by thousands of businesses all doing green initiatives and lowering their carbon footprints, society will be impacted positively. “It is important for every business to do their part to cut energy demand,” says James. All together it makes a big impact on the environment. James' philosophies have helped advance the UN SDG number 9, "build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation."

In the short term there weren’t many immediate benefits because it cost the company a lot of money to switch to green energy, however, the payback period was very short and they ended up saving money in the long run because they did not have to pay for propane for the forklifts and the lightbulbs and heating were less energy consuming, therefore being cheaper.

Interview

James Appelbe, Founder

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Keele Warehousing and Logistics

Keele Warehousing and Logistics

Toronto, ON, CA

Business Website: http://www.keelewarehousing.com/

Year Founded: 2001

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Keele Warehousing and Logistics is a distribution company started by James Appelbe and Julie Appelbe. This company offers a variety of distribution services, including inventory information upon shipment, activity reports, complete on/offloading and cross-docking of trailers and overseas containers, order-picking, shrink-wrapping, as well as on-site packaging and labeling. They have built themselves up from the ground and become experts at shipping hazardous materials, as well as dry goods, canned food products.