Manufacturing is vital to the US economy. This industry contributed $2.37 trillion to the US economy in the second quarter of 2019 and 12.82 million US jobs. However, manufacturing facilities are also responsible for a large portion of the country’s carbon emissions and energy consumption. In fact, manufacturing facilities consumed more than 32 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption in 2019.
To reduce the impact this industry has on the environment, many facilities are adopting more sustainable, eco-friendly methods. These initiatives are not only beneficial for the planet, but they also help companies improve their bottom line. So let’s look at exactly how going green is good for business.
What is Green Manufacturing?
Green manufacturing is a commitment to using fewer environmental pollutants and natural resources. Green facilities also make every effort to produce less waste, carbon emissions, and try to have as little impact on the environment as possible.
‘Eco-friendly’ initiatives are allowing many businesses to reduce costs and run a more productive operation. Additionally, many organizations are making the process of becoming sustainable easier than ever. Below, we outline how manufacturers are becoming more eco-friendly and how they are benefiting from the switch.
How are Businesses Going Green?
An energy audit is a quick and easy way to start creating an eco-conscious facility. This audit takes into account all energy consumption in order to find areas of waste. After auditing energy use, businesses can determine the best way to correct these losses. Whether it be through energy-efficient lighting or by replacing outdated motors, these small changes can have a big payoff.
Many businesses start this process by switching to LED lighting. These bulbs use 25 to 80 percent less energy and last 25 percent longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. When an entire facility switches to LED lighting, it can have a significant impact on energy costs.
During the energy audit process, manufacturing facilities may also opt to replace their current energy source with a more renewable one. Renewable sources include wind, geothermal, solar, hydropower, and landfill gas. Companies can choose to generate power using one of these renewable sources. Switching over to a sustainable source may have some upfront cost, but over time, they can be big money savers.
Businesses can also go through a waste audit to ensure they’re not disposing of valuable materials. Some raw materials may be recycled or reduced for different projects. Over time, reducing a facility’s overall waste will save money and increase efficiency.
Using Non-Toxic Materials
In addition to reducing waste and conserving energy, many companies are opting to use eco-friendly supplies. These brands are replacing synthetic materials with cleaner, safer ones. For example, traditional mattress brands use foam made of 100 percent petroleum-based oils. However, to reduce their carbon footprint, environmentally conscious mattresses replace a portion of the petroleum in the bed with plant-based oils. This results in less pollution and ensures the product is safe for consumers.
How Does Sustainable Manufacturing Benefit a Business?
Shifting to environmentally friendly manufacturing methods is a sure-fire way to save money. As we mentioned above, replacing traditional incandescent lightbulbs with LED and CFL bulbs can drastically lower energy costs. Additionally, appliances can be replaced with EnergyStar appliances to help facilities operate more efficiently. Reducing energy consumption not only helps the planet, but it also helps the company save money.
When you take steps to run a greener, more energy-efficient business, it shows customers that you care about the planet and those who live on it. After all, efforts to protect the earth are not just benefiting the business but everyone around the globe. These efforts resonate with consumers and go a long way in gaining public trust. Over time, this trust can produce a loyal customer base.
Meet Consumer Demands
Consumers are becoming aware of the negative impact manufacturing can have on the environment. This awareness is driving them to demand goods made with sustainable materials and eco-friendly manufacturing methods. By going green, manufacturers can raise to meet these demands and maintain a competitive advantage.
Create a Safer Work Environment
Over time, running a green business will create a better environment for all employees. In turn, this can boost morale, productivity, and company pride. Additionally, things like green technology, recycling options, green cleaning products, paperless communication, and electronic paychecks will reinforce the company’s commitment to protecting the future of the planet.
Switching to sustainable manufacturing methods can also help businesses qualify for tax credits and deductions. There are both state and federally run programs that give significant tax breaks to companies doing their part to reduce carbon emissions.
Taking steps to become more sustainable can have a positive impact on any business. It helps to improve the brand image, creates a cleaner, safer work environment, and helps the company become more profitable. Protecting the planet has never been more convenient or more productive.
rePurpose Global Makes It Easy
We’ve developed a solution to turn your business’s waste practices sustainable through our Plastic Neutral platform. For every kg of plastic you use in operations and packaging, we recover and recycle an equivalent amount with our verified impact partners. We also help you market your Plastic Neutral Certification so that you realize all the benefits of investing in sustainability as soon as you join us. Sign up for a 30-minute free consultation at www.business.repurpose.global/contactus and start your company’s journey towards Plastic Neutrality today.