Let’s face it, if you work in the manufacturing industry you’ve probably got a bad rap with the perception of not being particularly sustainable, even if this isn’t necessarily true. The bottom line is that nobody wants to be the bad boy of climate change.
Implementing green practices into your plant will not only boost your reputation but also bring cash benefits. So, you’ll be doing your bit for the planet and saving money, while increasing the efficiency of your manufacturing plant and building a greener brand!
If that sounds good and you want to lose the bad reputation then read our tips to help get you on your sustainable journey…
- Follow the magic 3 S’s
Building an environmentally friendly manufacturing business can be tough, but following the 3 S’s of sustainable manufacturing can go a long way:
- Source – buy from the green guys! Look at your supply chain and ensure that each link has taken steps to become greener and more sustainable
- System – the clue’s in the name here: build an efficient system for minimising waste. Don’t use equipment your grandad would laugh at; recycle (more on this later); and turn off the lights (it works)!
- Service – keep your machinery healthy! Don’t let your equipment suffer, give it some TLC from time to time.
These 3 S’s working together massively boosts your businesses sustainability and also maximises efficiency in doing so. It’s a total no-brainer if we’re being honest, it helps your business and it helps your planet!
- Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 may sound like just another buzzword but embracing it really can make a huge difference to your business’s sustainability.
Let’s start with the basics: what is Industry 4.0? It’s defined as the fourth ‘industrial revolution’, the previous three being the use of water and steam power; the use of electricity; and the use of computerisation. Industry 4.0 is the use of smart and autonomous systems fuelled by data and machine learning – so far, so Terminator 2.
However, the robot uprising may not be so bad for industry: AI learning can massively increase efficiency, and therefore lessen resource usage. Reducing your business’s use of raw materials is not only key in the quest for higher sustainability – by lessening your need for potentially environmentally damaging procurement, but also results in lower costs for you!
All hail the robot overlords!
This is an obvious one, put your waste in the right bins. Manufacturing businesses produce plenty of waste, much of which can be recycled.
Also, consider recycling your E-waste (old electronics), the UN estimates that the total value of recoverable parts and minerals from E-waste could be as high as £34bn – £7bn of which is gold, what a waste!
- Become a lean, mean manufacturing machine
The Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC), found 60% of production activities in a typical manufacturing operation are waste, resulting in massive inefficiencies.
Lean manufacturing is the saviour you didn’t know you needed; it involves getting shut of processes that are not helping the efficiency of your business. This sounds like a totally obvious point, but so many businesses are stuck in their ways and don’t realise the savings they could make.
- Purchase green energy
Your business requires energy to run, but the source of this energy can differ greatly. The name of the game here is buying from renewable sources, which thanks to increased investment in greener energy generation, is now cheaper than ever.
Nowadays, businesses can make serious, positive environmental changes, without impacting their budgets – nice! One way to do this is by joining a renewable energy basket, if that’s something you’d like to know more about then click here.
These changes all work towards you creating a sustainable manufacturing business as well as helping to repair the reputation of the manufacturing industry – less bad boy and more eco-warrior.
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