Sustainable Manufacturing

    It is one thing to make your home Zero Waste, but it will be truly revolutionary to have manufacturing also become Zero Waste.

    But this can be achieved through Sustainable Manufacturing.

    Sustainable Manufacturing is the creation of products through processes that minimize environmental impacts, conserve energy and natural resources while also being economically sound. Done properly, these processes will also enhance product, community, and employee health and safety.

    Sustainable manufacturing is full of opportunities for innovation in design and engineering.

    It can help companies strengthen their brand, increase competitive advantage and attack new customers.

    There are many companies that have taken the lead, set the example and have achieved sustainability.

    One of the top sustainable companies is ├śrsted, a Danish based energy company that is one of the leaders in renewable energy with wind turbines.

    There are other energy companies on the list, such as Schneider Electric and Neste, both European based energy manufacturers.

    How can I help to increase Sustainability in Manufacturing?

    It is great to learn about what it means to be sustainable and about others who are having success with it, but how can an individual make a difference?

    You can make a difference by the choices that you make with each decision that you make.

    Think about where you work- can changes be made in your industry, or in your office? Sometimes simply starting a conversation and showing others around you the long term benefits of sustainability can lead to big changes.

    Use the power of a dollar. Think about each dollar that you spend. Look at the companies that manufacture the items that you buy and find better options. Our spending dollars and how we choose to use them are a very powerful influencer on business decisions. If more money flows towards companies that use sustainable business practices, those companies will grow and others will be forced to follow their lead in order to stay competitive.

    Use the power of your vote. Talk to community leaders. Local, state and federal agencies will often give tax incentives to companies that follow sustainable practices. Make sure that your vote goes towards individuals who are like minded in your view of a greener future.

    How can I tell how sustainable a company is?

    There are several key things to look at in companies to determine if they use sustainable practices or not.

    1- Transparency- They openly show their business practices and disclose information about their products and manufacturing.

    2-Certifications-There are several options for certifying that a business is green. Certified B, Fair Trade Status, and Cruelty Free are some examples.

    3- Mission Statements and Goals- Companies know that green practices attract customers and they do not try to hide that fact. They often state their practices and intentions in an easily found Mission Statement.

    4- A little research- A well worded Google search, or a call to the company can lead to a wealth of information. 

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