Sustainable Manufacturing: An Opportunity, Not A Punishment

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Sustainable Manufacturing: An Opportunity, Not A Punishment

As manufacturers face a customer that increasingly demands sound, eco-friendly products , they are increasingly looking at how they can become a smarter, greener producer and how they can track and document their environmental initiatives. The United Nations define ‘ sustainable manufacturing’ as a form of manufacturing development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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So what impact is this having on the manufacturing industry today?

Green manufacturing standards that were once a nice benefit, such as reducing water and energy consumption, minimizing waste and decreasing dangerous emissions, are now expected from manufacturers and the benefits of incorporating eco-friendly initiatives into manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly clear. Not only can this allow for reduced cost and higher efficiency, it also boosts your reputation, positioning your company as a responsible corporate citizen. Companies are now seeing that going ‘green’ makes them part of the circular economy.

Take Coca-Cola for example, which has set up aggressive goals to improve water stewardship, protect the climate and produce sustainable packaging. For the latter measure, Coca Cola plans to work with their partners to recycle the equivalent of 75 percent of the bottles and cans it develops by 2020. It is currently on track and has already estimated a 61 percent recovery rate.

BMW was ranked the world’s most sustainable company in 2016. Between 1995 and 2015 it was able to reduce the CO2 emissions of newly sold vehicles in Europe by 20 percent.

As this new world takes hold, how do you conform with the demand for sustainable transparency?

Over the past decade, pressure from governments and customers related to environmental compliance, tracking and control has been a burden for companies and uncovered the need for a software solution that can handle current and future environmental requirements.

How to track your environmental footprint on your manufacturing operations

One of our customers, Saab, routinely encounters products and components whose contents are subject to restrictions and stringent legislation.  By integrating its environmental compliance software with its enterprise software, Saab gained strategic, tactical and operational insight into its organization through one single platform. It is now on top of the regulations and can easily update the solution for future legislation.

So what does the future of green manufacturing look like?

Regardless of who’s in office, the move toward sustainability is here to stay. The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) enables all new manufacturing purchases to connect to the internet, increasing productivity and lowering overall costs while making an increasingly smaller environmental footprint. Anyone resisting this new technology will essentially be left behind.

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