Sustainable Manufacturing 101: Why It Matters


Concerns that used to reside primarily in the domain of “green” or “eco-friendly” companies are now going mainstream. Manufacturers of all stripes are slowly starting to see that a successful business enterprise is one that incorporates sustainable methods and practices. And when you break it down to its basic form, it is easy to see why this is happening. Sustainable manufacturing is essentially the production of things through a lens that focuses on economically viable processes, and features a strong commitment to limiting any harmful outcomes for the environment.

Whether you’re talking about xero manufacturing that enhances control over, and awareness of, raw materials and finished products, or are looking to a more circular system of production – sustainable manufacturing is all about doing smart and efficient business that does not waste natural resources or energy. Here is a breakdown of some of the other benefits that it has to offer.

Safety first

Protecting more than just the environment, sustainable manufacturing has also been shown to have a significant impact on boosting safety for employees and the larger surrounding community. This is due to the fact that sustainable manufacturing prioritizes materials that are safe to work with and always accounts for the human element present in any production process. Ultimately, this leads to increased trust from the public and a more enduring brand reputation.

Reduce costs

As a result of the reality that sustainable manufacturing is really all about doing things as efficiently as possible, waste and costs tend to reduce once sustainable practices are implemented. From being smart about how raw material is selected and stored, to the processes through which it is converted into a product, sustainable manufacturing seeks to uncover any areas where things could be done in a smarter and more effective way.

Appeal to new customers

If sustainable manufacturing hasn’t been a focus within your business or company framework because you don’t really think of yourself as a “green” enterprise, it is time to think again. No longer a niche area of commerce intended to appeal to the select few, more and more customers expect to see some sort of commitment to protecting the environment present in a company’s mandate. This is the new norm, and rather than alienating any of your existing customers, it will only serve to reinforce existing bonds and generate others.

Be ready for the future

As resources become increasingly scarce and businesses are forced to incorporate new methods of production to stay viable, sustainable manufacturing will become a competitive advantage. Not simply from an ethical or moralistic point of view, but when it comes to pursuing emerging opportunities and being prepared to accommodate new regulatory constraints, it will pay to be one step ahead of the curve. Those who wait too long to pursue the path that leads to sustainability will find themselves struggling to catch up and may find that they’re excluded from important conversations about what the future of manufacturing will look like.

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