As the climate crisis worsens, manufacturing industries worldwide are pressured to lower their carbon footprint. Stationary energy production, including the manufacturing sector, accounts for the second-highest greenhouse gas emissions contributor. Hence, businesses in this sector have a significant role to play in reducing their environmental impact.
At the same time, more consumers and potential employees are gravitating toward sustainable brands and businesses. Therefore, to survive and thrive, companies must adapt their manufacturing practices to become more sustainable and greener.
Read on to find out more about how sustainable manufacturing can benefityour business while reducing your company’s environmental impact.
What is sustainable manufacturing?
Before we delve further into the ways sustainable manufacturing benefits your business while reducing its carbon footprint, you must first grasp the meaning of sustainable manufacturing.
In simple terms, sustainable manufacturing aims to produce goods with minimum use of energy, natural resources, waste, and emissions. It is understanding your industry’s environmental impacts and ensuring you are not unnecessarily causing any negative impacts.
For example, companies can reduce their production waste to near zero by switching their packaging to reusable ones, accepting more recycled materials, or producing more efficient and longer-lasting products.
All in all, the concept of sustainability is variable; it largely depends on a manufacturer’s operating environment. So, companies need to define sustainable manufacturing for themselves in a way that works for their business and saves the environment.
Contrary to popular belief, sustainable manufacturing does not add cost to production. This is because businesses are not necessarily required to install new, expensive eco-friendly systems of machinery to practice sustainability – they only need to be more resource efficient.
This can range from reducing the number of materials from an input perspective or reducing water usage and cutting down on waste disposal needs. If you are using fewer resources and have less waste, it will cost you less in the long run.
Eco-friendly manufacturing promotes innovation. This is vital for a company to grow and stand out in the market. Businesses can think of ideas to reuse their product packaging or partner with recycling companies to develop a more eco-conscious method of waste disposal or remanufacturing opportunities.
This cuts down on costs significantly as you will not be sending these single-use items to landfills and paying for them. In addition, the more you make your products sustainable, the more you can differentiate yourself from your competitors, and if your business is eco-friendly, you will have fewer risks.
As mentioned above, the number of people switching to greener, sustainable products continues to grow steadily. With increasing awareness of the climate crisis, more people wish to reduce their negative impact on the environment and feel that sustainable products are safer and more cost-effective to use.
Apart from that, sustainable manufacturing will also positively impact your company’s reputation – it establishes your brand identity and sets you apart from competitors as a business that cares for the environment. This allows you to build a competitive advantage while reducing your carbon footprint.
Add effective green marketing strategies, and you will have a solid (and growing) customer base, especially in today’s environmentally conscious population.
Less regulatory compliance costs
Nowadays, newer regulations are frequently drafted to ensure businesses practise eco-friendly manufacturing processes and produce greener products. This is to achieve the government’s net-zero targets. By shifting towards a more sustainable manufacturing process, you will save compliance costs and eventual shutdown in the long run.
Furthermore, sustainable manufacturing allows for the reduction of production waste, thus, reducing your business’ environmental responsibility. This, in turn, lowers external costs your business must cover for negatively impacting the environment and the cost of any toxic waste removal.
Grow green with sustainable manufacturing
Studies show that if manufacturing businesses employ effective sustainability measures worldwide, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly. From an economic perspective, embracing sustainability will allow you to claim social consciousness, thereby earning attention and respect from potential consumers and employees. This results in increased profits and a more dedicated workforce.
So, all that is left to do is to employ these sustainability manufacturing practices in your business – it is still not too late to move in the right direction. Make the green choice!