Unlike other business domains, the manufacturing industry is not exactly perceived to be environmentally friendly. Google ‘businesses that have the highest levels of bad impact on the environment’ and you will find that the manufacturing industry is notorious to be the top contributor. Thankfully the trend has been changing recently as manufacturing units are striving to contribute to the green environment. Today’s manufacturing industry pays special attention to ensure that their operations are at par with the green movement and they are doing everything in their capacity to ensure low cost, sustainability and a healthier environment. Here are the top ways manufacturing industry can become green.
Updating the manufacturing facility
When one mentions manufacturing, people often envision a factory with an enormous amount of smoke and pollutants being released in the air that we breathe. Today’s manufacturers are moving away from this conventional image and adopting measures like targeting waste, getting rid of inefficient machinery and implementing energy efficient machines, thereby reducing consumption bills. Other areas of focus are adopting alternative sources of energy like solar or wind.
One top mantra for a greener manufacturing industry is ‘reduce, reuse and recycle.’ One of the biggest concerns in the manufacturing industry is how to use raw materials efficiently. Manufacturers today are trying to reduce waste, especially in manufacturing industries that use raw materials from nature like trees. Many industries that use wood are replacing wood with bamboo which is a more sustainable alternative. Manufacturers are also trying to get control on their inventory so that waste reduction can be limited. Gone are the days when manufacturers overstocked perishables which ended up being wasted. Improved delivery networks and structured supply plans are helping industries to reduce wastage.
Along with reducing waste, companies are also keen to recycle. Many manufacturers are encouraging recycling of their own products. For instance, soda bottle manufacturers encourage people to dispose of empty bottles in the recycle bin, thereby promoting recycling. Many others prefer to choose recyclable materials rather than one-time use materials as their raw material. Manufacturers are eliminating materials like plastic from their manufacturing line because they are not biodegradable.
Lean line production
The early 90s witnessed a revolutionary trait in the manufacturing industry which involved many manufacturers adopting lean production. Although the focus was on lowering production costs and increasing profits, lean production also helped the green initiatives. It all starts right from using only required amount of raw material, to using the only required amount of energy resources for manufactured, limited people, limited shipping and transit costs, in the end, translates to creating a linear and sustainable business.
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