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Sustainability in Pallet Racking

Sustainability has become a growing and significant issue that industries cannot ignore, and logistics is no exception. By their very nature warehouses are fast-moving, busy environments that can consume a vast number of both material and energy resources to keep logistics on track.

Many organisations are now starting to recognise the urgent need to quantify and reduce their carbon footprint and every consideration and change, no matter how small it is, can make a big difference.

For the warehouse owner there are a number of steps that can be taken including the use of environmentally friendly vehicles and packaging, reducing waste and improving the warehouse environment. What should also be included in this list is your choice of storage solution!


Reducing carbon footprint

One of the biggest steps you can take is to buy British made products. A recent report from the conservation charity WWF estimated that nearly half of the UK’s carbon footprint comes from emissions associated with imports to the UK.

Did you know that a one-tonne load of pallet racking is approximately equivalent to 1,000 pallet places? A single 20 tonne delivery from Central/Eastern Europe to the Midlands would emit around five metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

Let’s put this into perspective! One tonne of CO2 alone is the equivalent of 49 return flights from London (Heathrow) to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) in economy class, electricity consumption by 0.65 households in one year or 500 CO2 fire extinguishers. In other words, that’s a lot of CO2!

Buying British manufactured products can make a significant difference. Here at Whittan, the same load would emit around 4.9 fewer tonnes of CO2 when coming from our main manufacturing plant in Milton Keynes. It goes without saying, the bigger the project, the greater the reduction!


Made in Britain

Buying British products not only lowers your carbon footprint, but it will also support the manufacturing heritage in this country.

Link51 was originally set up 70 years ago in the heart of England’s industrial ‘Black Country’. We’re incredibly proud to say that the same factory is still producing our shelving today which is why we are also members of the well trusted organisation Made in Britain. The scheme is a registered collective mark that offers buyers reassurance they are buying British manufactured products.

Of course, there are other advantages to buying British. It also means much shorter lead times, less risk in the supply chain and better customer service overall. So, no more worrying about delays or disruptions to your timeline – we’ll make it as quick and easy as possible for you to get your order!


Maximise your warehouse

If you need more storage space it can also make environmental sense to expand on your existing system rather than extending the footprint of your current location. Not only will this provide enhanced energy efficiency, after all filling unused space reduces your heating or cooling requirements, but also significant financial savings.

That is precisely where we come in! As the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of storage and shelving systems, we can work with you to expand your capabilities with storage. Our products are installed in all sectors and industries, and we can offer a comprehensive range of systems including shelving, lockers, pallet racking, integrated solutions and mezzanine floors.

One of our most popular shelving systems is our Apex and Link51 Longspan shelving which is ideal for hand-loaded storage areas of heavy, large, or awkward items. It uses a beam system which fastens securely onto uprights and has wider aperture bays which can be tailored to fit exactly within your storage requirements. Add-on accessories are based on a modular design and allow for simple amendments or future system relocation. The storage system can also be designed as a multi-tier structure and can be used in collaboration with our mobile systems.

Nick Thompson, National Sales Manager at Whittan Group explains: “At Whittan, we can easily offer additional shelving if you need that extra storage. We can group different types of shelving together depending on best practise and use things like dividers for smaller picks. Our work fits seamlessly with different industry sector requirements.”


Extend your shelf life

A final consideration should be on the longevity of products used. After all, when addressing sustainability, you must also consider the lifecycle of the product.

Does your storage meet the needs of your warehouse or building and throughput of goods? Has it been designed, manufactured and installed to the highest standards according to the relevant codes that ensure reliability and long life in use?  Our solutions are in line with British standard requirements and British Safety Council Certifications. We are also members of the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) which requires our products to be independently tested to meet their stringent Quality Assured Standard.

Finally, no matter how carefully you use your storage scheme, damage will occur from time to time, which can limit its lifespan and more importantly can result in serious consequences for staff. SEMA guidelines suggests you should have at least one inspection, from an expert every 12 months, but you should also run regular inspection checks on a weekly or monthly basis by your own company.

For the ‘expert’ inspection we have a skilled team of safety engineers, who are on hand to provide SEMA approved pallet racking inspections. These will determine the safety and structural integrity of your pallet racking systems and warehouse safety. We also run our racking safety training courses to help your staff understand everything they need to know about operational best practices, how to recognise damage and how to correctly report problems.

Small changes can have a big impact on your carbon footprint. Get in touch with one of our experts today to see how we can help you make a big difference. Call 01952 682251 or email

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