To the average person, the ideas of manufacturing and environmental awareness do not seem to go well together. Seldom will someone describe manufacturing as environmentally friendly or clean. This is due to the fact that the manufacturing industry has been held accountable for numerous environmental crises that we currently face. But recent events and the changes some corporations made have seen a shift in how manufacturing operates. Going green is now taking precedence in the industry and more and more companies are boarding the ‘green’ wagon.
Going Green in Manufacturing
Even though we mentioned that this shift is trending right now, we by no means want to imply that embracing sustainable principles will be temporary. Introducing and maintaining sustainable practices will not only benefit our planet, it will also make the companies who use them be more efficient, productive and therefore profitable. It’s not just because it’s ‘the right thing to do’ or because of the mounting pressure from eco-friendly organizations and institutions, there are some very practical short-term and long-term financial benefits that are huge motivators for this change.
Additionally, the extent of a company’s green commitment can be synonymous to that company’s growth. It has been noticed that the companies that practice a greater green efforts show greater economic growth despite the difficult times in the manufacturing industry. In the US, the commercial advantages have led to a greener California, a more solar New York and more responsible manufacturing practices in many other states.
Green Manufacturing Trail Blazers
While it may seem counterintuitive to attribute manufacturing corporations for making the world a better place, some companies still acknowledged the importance of being environmentally conscientious and managed to create profits in their new endeavor.
General Mills was one of the first of these trail blazers, who designed and put to use innovative techniques for waste disposal. Their most impactful innovation is related to dealing with converting oat hulls – a byproduct of making Cheerios – into an alternative fuel source that was in turn used to power their factories. By 2006, the company reported that they had recycled over 86 percent of their solid waste.
Another example is the Coors Brewing Company, who found a way to convert their wasted beer products into beneficial ethanol. Through a partnership with Valero Energy, Coors helps to produce over three million gallons of ethanol every year, causing the world to rethink any ideas of being fueled by beer.
Advantages of Green Manufacturing
In addition to preserving the Earth for future generations, there are other significant advantages to green in manufacturing.
- Reduced Energy and Logistical Costs
The goal of any business is to reduce costs wherever possible. There are even teams who are specifically focused on this matter. Such efforts can be contributed for finding alternative sources of energy. Although it implies initial costs, the long-term savings almost always outweigh them. The use of recycled materials, more efficient lighting and better packaging methods are just some of the examples how manufacturers can save money and the planet all at the same time.
- Tax Credits
Since environmental protection is a national concern, most national and local governments offer multiple incentives for manufacturers to go green. The purpose of such campaigns is to financially motivate the manufacturers to find ways to reduce the amount of energy they use and the amount of waste they create. These financial stimulants usually come in the form of tax credits. However, these are also other incentive plans focused on how being environmentally friendly could be a manufacturing company’s ace in the hole when tackling on the competition.
- Better Reputation
Word of mouth means everything these days. It’s no longer enough to have top notch products, companies need to stand out from the competition. Manufacturing companies that gain a reputation for their green production methods will be more accepted among the public. This kind of reputation can lead to increased number of customers and subsequently increased sales; higher employee morale and subsequently higher productivity rates. All this adds up to increased profit.
Article Submitted By Community Writer