Regardless of industry, few manufacturers would argue the merits of mainstreaming environmental responsibility. Besides cutting down on the exploitation of natural resources, green practices in the workplace also broadly boost sustainability and cuts costs for the business. Still, such widespread conversion still seems elusive because most manufacturers are overwhelmed or just intimidated by the process.
The reality is manufacturing and advanced manufacturing shops possess the ability to make meaningful changes right now. Consider the following keys.
1. Cut down on water use. The water company can conduct an audit that will identify your use and advise on ways it can be slashed. This should be wholesale, so incorporate the buying, treating, heating or cooling and disposing of water. The EPA has plenty of information on the best technologies available to increase conservation.
2. Save energy and cut costs instantly. Weather stripping, programmable thermostats, energy efficient lightbulbs and swapping out HVAC filters are simple but impactful steps to erase wasteful energy use. You should also conduct an energy audit to identify the areas that need the most attention.
3. Recycle raw materials. Inevitably there are material scraps and leftovers in any manufacturing process that often get tossed in mass quantities. Almost always this is detrimental to the environment. A better strategy is to pursue ways raw materials can be recycled or reused — even if that requires donating the leftovers.
Innovating to green practices makes sense on multiple fronts. It can obviously help the planet and reduce expenses. But over time it will also endear any company to a market that is becoming more and more in tune with environmental responsibility.