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6 Ways to Achieve More Sustainable Manufacturing Practices.

It’s about time for you to "go green" – here are valuable tips to get you started.

Nowadays, numerous organizations are incorporating sustainability into their business strategies and operations. As a result, these companies are becoming more efficient, minimizing expenses, differentiating from their competitors, and getting ahead of legislation.

Because other than improving the welfare of society and the environment, sustainability also drives business success – it fuels global competitiveness. One of the most prevalent reasons behind this is that investors today use the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standard to analyze a business’ sustainability practices and ethical impact.

Moreover, it’s no secret that one of the most significant factors contributing to a business’ sustainable transformation is the manufacturing sector – which almost every organization relies on.

That said, altering your manufacturing processes is the best way to jumpstart your company’s move toward sustainability.

It’s about time for you to go green – here are valuable tips to get you started.

Implement Sustainability Policies

As an organization, your workers can become your greatest allies as you improve sustainability. That’s why it’s crucial to develop and implement sustainability policies to reinforce your goals and provide workers with a cheat sheet on how to help the company’s green efforts.

One of the policies you may implement is to switch to sustainable packaging solutions. Eco-friendly packaging can be easily reused or composted, making it a fantastic environmental alternative. In addition, using sustainable processes and materials to produce packaging will minimize the waste produced during the manufacturing process. Likewise, it’ll also encourage customers to do the same.

Moreover, make sure to invest in carbon accounting to assess how much carbon you produce. Finally, make it an annual policy to ensure that your carbon footprint goes down as time passes.

Of course, the transition won’t happen overnight – you have to invest time in training your workers and teaching them the importance of sustaining the environment.

Optimize Energy Use

Did you know that manufacturing processes currently utilize approximately one-quarter of the United States’ energy? And the big picture depicts that it’s responsible for consuming one-third of the entire world’s energy.

It doesn’t matter whether your business is small or big – your manufacturing sector should optimize its energy usage. Here are some easy yet impactful practices to optimize energy:

  • Turn off all manufacturing equipment after working hours

  • Enable energy-saving settings on all equipment

  • Use energy-efficient products like LED lights

Switch to Renewable Energy

Speaking of energy use, one of the best ways to improve your manufacturing operation’s sustainability is by fully embracing renewable energy. There are numerous power sources you may look into, such as solar, wind, hydro, and biomass, that are completely clean.

And in most cases, these alternative sources can reduce your electric bill compared to those sourced from traditional fossil fuels.

To get you started, look at your energy survey’s findings and for instances where new technology can be introduced. Although it’s unrealistic to switch to green power instantly, you can take small steps that will offset significant chunks of your regular consumption.

Practice Water Conservation

During the manufacturing stage, there are plenty of water conservation practices you may implement. However, the most crucial step is finding and fixing unforeseen leaks in your machines and equipment.

To expedite this process, you should have a leak detection plan. This plan encompasses every step you must take to solve this concern – from mapping out the entire factory to utilizing technology to check for leakage.

In addition, your organization may also switch to water-friendly toilet utilities such as low-flow toilets and water-efficient faucets. Despite being small changes, these could significantly reduce your company’s water usage.

Always Choose to Recycle

The manufacturing industry is one of the leading sectors that produce tons of waste. Unfortunately, this leads to rampant pollution, which worsens natural disasters like hurricanes and storm surges. However, you can always choose to recycle extra scraps that don’t make the final cut. For example, you may partner with a recycling company so that you can send them your unused materials weekly or monthly.

Moreover, you may develop a company-wide recycling program for items such as:

  • Fluorescent light bulbs

  • Electronics, computers, and other devices no longer in use

  • Disposable PPE (gloves, gowns, face masks, etc.)

  • Packaging, paper, and cardboard products

  • Defective products

To encourage employees, make sure to give them incentives -- for example, the top 5 workers who bring the most items will get a year-end reward.

Proper Chemical Management

It’s no secret that most manufacturers use chemicals during the production process and that those chemicals could harm the environment. For example, machine coolants are used in metal cutting operations. These contain a mixture of water, lubricant, and hazardous chemicals.

As a resolution, you may seek help from your chemical vendor. They could train your employees on the proper use and disposal methods of coolants and other chemicals. By taking this extra step, rest assured that no chemical from your manufacturing department will harm the Earth.

Final Words

Over the years, the topic of sustainability has gained traction globally as national governments and huge organizations have sought ways to solve the issue of climate change. And with manufacturing sectors using large amounts of energy and raw materials while producing excessive waste, the industry must get on board with going green.

By implementing more eco-friendly manufacturing practices, your organization will slowly but surely contribute to prolonging the world as we know it today.



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