Manufacturing and Environmental Stewardship

Jul 2, 2014 0 Comments in Uncategorized by

In short, green manufacturing means approaching the whole production and distribution process through a perspective of sustainability. All activities from the largest plant to the shortest assembly line, from managers to laborers to even marketing and sales teams, contribute to a sustainable industrial model. A basic approach to this would mean using fewer non-renewable resources and producing less waste.

It’s undeniable that we’re in the midst of what could be considered a “green revolution.” That might be fun to say, but what does it actually mean in concrete terms? Here are a few ways manufacturers can join the green revolution and do their party to adopt more environmentally friendly processes, support a higher quality of living standards, and be good corporate citizens.

  • Accountability – The first step is recognizing how, in the past, some manufacturers have shirked their duties when it comes to respecting the world itself. No, manufacturers are not “evil” or anything of the sort. However, there have been those who have cut corners or ignored regulations in the interest of profits—and the environment has suffered thanks to pollution, resource drain, and more. It is time to recognize we all play a vital part in managing these trends.
  • Stewardship – Companies should recognize that the environment they exist within isn’t just composed of the physical earth. It also involves the financial environment, the health and welfare of employees, surrounding urban areas, and more. All of these are a responsibility the manufacturer in question must be willing to embrace and care for.
  • Clean Manufacturing – Manufacturers bring many resources and possibly toxic materials into concentrated locations. If not handled properly along the entire chain of production and distribution, or without the implementation of cleaner and more efficient technology, a manufacturer can compound hazards already present in the system.
  • Footprint Minimization – Another main green manufacturing trend is seen in efforts toward footprint reduction. “Footprint” refers to how many physical resources a company is consuming as well as how much potentially harmful waste it is leaving in its wake. Better warehouse management, higher-efficiency electrical systems, and basic employee awareness are all ways to reduce a company’s environmental footprint, especially if these changes are adopted for the long-term.

Has your company already adopted environmentally friendly practices and processes? As a manufacturer, have you stepped up and taken responsibility for the impact you have not only on the land and water, but also on the people who work for and around you?