What Does Sustainable Manufacturing Look Like and Why it’s Detrimental to Your Businesses’ Future
As the hot topic around the world is Net Zero, more and more businesses are becoming aware of their sustainability in the environmental and longevity sense. Becoming sustainable is now important to all stakeholders, customers, suppliers and anybody who interacts with a business. However, it’s not just about saying you’re conscious of your carbon footprint on your email signature. Stakeholders want to see businesses be proactive and evidently sustainable.
So what does sustainable manufacturing look like?
According to a report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Sustainable manufacturing is the creation of manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. Sustainable manufacturing also enhances employee, community and product safety.” - Forbes
Processes, Supply Chain Management and Regulations
Manufacturing is one of the highest contributors to global warming, so the sector needs to be on top of their game with reducing carbon emissions as much as possible. This starts by looking over your businesses end-to-end processes. Are you double processing? Are you completing manual, paper based tasks unnecessarily? These examples contribute towards time lost and waste, which are two huge factors when it comes to sustainability. Businesses need to be reviewing their processes from end-to-end to make sure that they are adding little to no impact on the environment if possible. Getting a hold of your data metrics is a great starting point, as they say: ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. Converting to digital is the most efficient way of capturing your data, with the continual move towards Industry 4.0 means that businesses are looking for ways to become automated and innovative to stay up to date.
Sustainable Manufacturing also includes your supply chain management. Who are you working with? Are they working towards carbon neutral too? Having that transparency within the supply chain shows a positive attitude towards achieving the sustainable goal, thus encouraging more businesses to trade with you.
Alongside the above points, more and more regulations worldwide are being made when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Therefore, manufacturers will need to be compliant with these, otherwise risk losing trade. This seems an obvious point to make when it comes to why sustainability is detrimental, however not everybody is up on their regulation research and it can be an easy mistake to slip up on.
Overall, sustainability equals business longevity
Whilst reducing carbon emissions is the top of everyone’s list, sustainability not only defines an environmental impact. Longevity is the goal for all businesses, adapting as we go and being as innovative as possible. One thing that’s for certain is that the world is changing and those who don’t innovate will get left behind. Therefore, to achieve longevity means becoming more sustainable from end-to-end and there are many benefits along with achieving trade that comes with it.
- Building trusting relationships with your team and customers
- Saving time and costs
- Showcasing a positive brand approach to the industry
- Discovering new opportunities
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