Richard Briggs
JUL 22, 2021

Good Shelf Awareness: A Simple Solution With a Surprising Twist

The COVID Supply Distribution Centre for Western Canada is home to critical supplies of PPE which help employees in the field stay safe. Items such as surgical masks, surface wipes, gloves, and alcohol for surface cleaning, are stockpiled in the warehouse which was set up in the Mechanical Car Shop in Edmonton, AB, as part of CN’s Pandemic Response Plan last year. The Mechanical team generously gave up an entire repair bay for the purpose.

Recently, the large area taken up by the supplies was made more efficient with a simple solution that produced a surprising ripple effect. The Mechanical team installed a three-deck set of industrial metal shelving units to take several dozen pallets of products off the ground and organize the inventory.

“It greatly reduced tripping hazards in the shop, improving safety, and created a lot more space. Employees can get in with a forklift now to retrieve supplies,” says Richard Briggs, Manager Service Alignment, Network Operations, and an EcoChampion. “Another unexpected benefit was that we could bring heavy equipment such as road repair trucks and front loaders from outside into the large space.” With Edmonton typically experiencing very cold winters, that means Mechanical equipment does not have to be warmed up before use or sit idling in the yard. That in turn helps reduce diesel consumption by 250 litres per week, generating average cost savings of nearly $15,000 per year and preventing 36 tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

“The team is using the space to full advantage with a simple but really effective solution,” adds Richard.

CN’s EcoConnexions Employee Engagement program – a partnership with Earth Rangers – drives sustainability across CN's network by empowering employees and their families to conserve energy, reduce waste, and improve housekeeping.

Visit our "Delivering Responsibly" section to learn more about sustainability at CN.