Without the manufacturing industry, the world would come crashing to a halt. It produces the products people need and use, as well as the ones they sell, which is vital to a thriving economy. Unfortunately, this process can and does do some damage to the environment.
People are becoming very concerned about their carbon footprint and that of the companies they support. In response, industries are getting on board with reducing and eliminating their pollution, including manufacturing.
Here are five ways businesses can practice sustainable manufacturing, so their negative impact on the environment can be reversed.
1. Manage Regular Energy Audits
Energy plays a big role in how much the Earth is damaged by unsustainable businesses. Electricity and coal are two common ways for businesses to power their manufacturing processes, but they both cause problems for the environment.
Factories and plants require a certain amount of energy. This may not be negotiable, but it’s still an area that can be worked on. The first big step businesses can take is to manage regular energy audits.
Audits will show how much energy is used across different equipment pieces and departments. It won’t be possible to reduce energy usage entirely, but these audits provide a foundation to base where energy may be negotiated.
An example of this may be a large amount of energy going into lighting, so bulbs are switched out with energy-efficient ones. Thermostats can also be changed during each season to lower how many times the AC units power on and off.
2. Invest in Renewable Energy
A long-term strategy for practicing sustainable manufacturing is to invest in renewable energy. Technology like solar panels will cost money upfront, but it’ll earn its price back quickly through the money saved.
Factories with solar panel installations on their rooftops, for example, can easily reduce their carbon emissions by over ten thousand tons each year, like Mondo Contract Flooring did, while reducing spending over time. Plus, these initiatives can help manufacturers achieve credits and certifications from a variety of green building programs.
3. Encourage Material Recycling
There are two big ways for manufacturing businesses to recycle. Usually, anything that isn’t used to make a product is sent to a dump, but businesses should consider recycling instead. Of course not all materials can be recycled, but it’s worth looking into, especially for companies making a high volume of products.
Businesses can also invest in recycling bins. Big plants employ a lot of people, which means they also create a lot of waste. Recycling will cut down on this waste and make everyone’s carbon footprint much smaller.
4. Use Sustainable Materials
Manufacturing companies can always look at ways to reduce their waste after it’s been created, but they can also get ahead of things. Each business should take a close look at the products they create and see if the materials they use could come from more sustainable sources.
Sustainable manufacturing not only directly impacts the environmental effects of production, but provides an excellent message for a company’s consumer base. Experts believe eco-friendly branding provides a competitive advantage that draws in consumers and investors alike.
5. Watch Water Usage
Water is needed for so many means of production, but businesses can take a closer look at how much they use and conserve where they can. A local water company or provider will be able to conduct an audit and assess how much is used and when.
Businesses that do this will save money on their water bill, conserve their usage and reduce the amount of pollution sent into rivers and oceans.
Sustainable Manufacturing Benefits Businesses
When a business uses renewable energy, the concern to audit and cut back on electricity usage becomes less of an issue. These are just some of the many ways companies can practice sustainable manufacturing to help the Earth and merge with the rise of green business practices.