Sustainability in Manufacturing Environments

Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This encourages businesses to stay focused on the long-term picture and helps to make sound, strategic, and beneficial decisions rather than focusing on short-term earnings.

A few examples of how companies can achieve their sustainable needs may include cutting emissions, lower energy usage, sourcing products from fair-trade organizations, and by ensuring their waste is disposed of properly and with as little carbon footprint as possible. All these ideas result in less money spent on fueling operations while promoting environmental health competence and increasing their economic benefits.

Check out these resources of how to reduce waste and carbon footprint easily, (or take steps in the right direction):

An example of sustainability that can be looked at is the plastics manufacturing industry. With advances in sciences, companies are now turning to bioplastics in lieu of past crude plastics.  This alternative material is a plastic that is made from polymers derived from biological sources such as sugar cane, potato starch or the cellulose from trees, straw and cotton instead of petroleum and other toxic chemicals that are needed for processing. This results in less carbon emissions that end up in the atmosphere due to the breakdown of the petroleum-based material when they inevitably end up in a waste site. Companies will save substantially on material cost as these items can be recycled and reused by companies thus cutting cost for materials. Look at how any business can easily reduce waste with a few listed items and steps:

  • Keep metal straws in the office.
  • Little to no printing (digitize our material, recycle binders and paper.)
  • Keep dishes (No more paper cups!)
  • Bring your lunch to work (avoid eating out as much as possible.)

Although sustainability traces many more areas of business, this small example gives a good insight into the thought process and purpose behind concepts such as sustainability. What areas do you think your business can benefit by utilizing sustainability in your operations planning and execution? Stay tuned for XL Pro doing a 30-day challenge soon!

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