Fish on conveyor belt

Sustainability practices in the cold storage industry

September 17, 2019

As a cold-storage warehouse, BCS is connected to the natural world. Among our missions is to properly store and handle nature’s bounty, including seafood, berries, vegetables and an abundance of other foods.

We depend on a healthy environment to sustain these harvests, and we take seriously our responsibility to make environmental sustainability part of our business model. In essence, we try to do the right thing whenever we can.

By its nature, Bellingham Cold Storage consumes a lot of electricity. After all, keeping perishable foods that are harvested by local farmers and fishing fleets chilled or frozen requires round-the-clock energy usage.

For decades, the leaders at BCS have worked diligently to be energy efficient at the company’s cold storage warehouses in Bellingham, WA – on the waterfront and alongside Interstate 5 – keeping power usage as low as possible while complying with global food storage regulations and maintaining product safety.

BCS recently made the decision to become a 100-percent voluntary corporate purchaser of renewable energy.

Through Avangrid Renewables, a leading provider of wind and solar power in the United States, Bellingham Cold Storage buys renewable energy certificates produced by generators throughout the United States, encouraging the development of new clean energy sources by providing renewable developers with additional revenue, which in turn helps them sell electricity at prices that are competitive with power plants that use other energy sources.

This decision to move to 100-percent renewable energy — from such sources as solar, wind, tidal and other electricity generators — allows BCS and its customers to maintain efficient operations while contributing to environmental integrity.

Of course, purchasing renewable energy credits is only part of the climate-smart equation. BCS continually works to use less energy by upgrading systems and equipment and becoming more efficient at the work it does.

Every year, BCS is adding projects aimed at boosting energy conservation. Right now, for example, BCS is adding a new roof to one of its warehouses. This will add an additional 4 inches of foam-board insulation, which will help reduce heat loss and thus lessen necessary equipment runtime. Another project is adding speed doors to a couple of warehouses; with the doors able to open and close faster, less heat is able to enter those buildings. Energy-efficient LED lighting is being installed, too, in yet another ongoing energy-saving project.

Gary White, BCS’s vice president for engineering, says that updates are added to Bellingham Cold Storage’s plans every year in a consistent effort to increase efficiency and decrease energy usage. He says that running as lean as possible with equipment and temperatures is an important part of the company’s focus on sustainability.

For more information about sustainability practices in the cold storage industry, please visit our website.