The manufacturing industry is undoubtedly a much relied upon and needed sector globally, it is responsible for so much innovation and development in the modern world, and the good that it does is undeniable. However, it is also an industry with a very sizeable carbon footprint. With climate change and efforts to minimize energy usage, greenhouse emissions, and waste production hot on the agenda right now, how can the manufacturing industry become greener and limit its damage to the environment?
A study by Siemens found that at least 89% of manufacturers now discuss energy management at board level. This is a very promising sign and shows that simply raising awareness and putting pressure on these big companies has made a difference. They are aware of the adverse effects that their processes can have on the environment, and they are acknowledging this, which is a great start. But there is more than can be done, and it isn’t just good for the environment, but it is great for business too.
Using Less Packaging
Many companies have started to do this now, and consumers are on board with it. While some items do need packaging to keep them safe when traveling, have a look at all the packaging your company uses and decide if it is really necessary. If it’s not, then it’s time to go. Perhaps there are other materials you can use for packing or other ways to keep items safe.
Use Recyclable Materials
Have a look at your designs and see where you could change the materials used to be greener. Could they be replaced by something else? Take inspiration from old designs and products and see if you could turn them into something new? If you make this a priority and a way of thinking, then it will become automatic in the industry and hopefully, create a culture of “what can we do with what we have?” rather than “what can we make new?”
Manage Your Waste
Managing your waste means not only trying to limit how much you waste but also choosing carefully what happens to the waste you can’t avoid. Choose a company such as 7 Skip Bins, whose recycling and resource management efforts divert the waste sent to landfills which helps create sustainability. If being greener is important to you, then work with companies that align with that way of thinking.
Keep Up to Date
Every day there are new industry developments, so one way to be sustainable is to make sure you’re keeping up to date with the new, more environmentally friendly processes and materials that are available. If you have the knowledge, then you can do something with it.
The small things make a huge difference
It’s easy to forget about the everyday things that can make your business more sustainable, especially when you’re working in manufacturing. However, remember that the little things make a huge difference, and they’re far easier to implement. Changes in the workplace such as using low-power LED lighting, having insulated workspaces, switching things off when they’re not being used, and having recycling bins on-hand to make it easy for workers to recycle their everyday waste will make a big difference to your carbon footprint.