The effort of reducing negative environmental impact by adopting eco-friendly solutions is called “going green”. “Going green” has been a popular discussion topic for the last decade and is crucial for manufacturing companies to be successful. It involves taking measures such as reducing utility costs, starting recycling and reusing procedural programs and buying products and services from other “green” companies.
Benefits of Going Green
While some countries require companies to reduce their carbon footprint by law, there are more reasons for manufacturing companies to go green. Beyond the legal need to adhere to regulatory mandates, adopting sustainable practices has tax incentives and creates operational efficiencies.
Also, it pays to be green! With more and more people being concerned about the environment, there is a competitive advantage to it. Large manufacturing companies that have employed their own eco-conscious initiatives have also found out that sustainability is a proven factor in buyers’ decision-making.
There are several steps you make in your own factory. Below are 5 ways we think manufacturing companies can go green.
How to Go Green
1. Conduct an energy audit
According to several studies and experts, energy tends to be the largest cost area for many factories. Hence, reducing energy does not only protect the environment but will also help your company cut costs.
That’s where an energy audit comes in. But to reduce your energy consumption, you first have to conduct an energy audit. The energy audit will help measure how much energy is being used and from which sources. It’s imperative to first identify which systems are working inefficiently to be able to, then, come up with the most cost-effective measures that can be implemented to rectify problem areas. But you must not stop at only one audit. It would be better to do regular audits to track your progress.
2. Control the heating, ventilating and air conditioning and lighting systems
HVAC, short for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, are systems that consume a large percentage of manufacturing plants’ energy. Hence, being conscious of HVAC equipment usage in your company can positively impact your utility bills.
Below is a list of foolproof ways of decreasing energy used by the HVAC systems:
- Keep up with routine maintenance
- Make sure there is sufficient insulation to trap heated or cooled air inside
- Use a programmable thermostat to ensure the HVAC unit is working at the optimum performance
- Swap lighting products to more energy-efficient and automated ones. There are even motion detector lighting products that turn on only when employees are present.
3. Eliminate printing as much as possible
If your company still uses bulletin boards, fliers, and printed graphs to communicate information to plant workers who don’t work in an office, you should consider swapping to electronic alternatives.
Instead of holding on to methods that require lots of printing, it would be better for digital. Digitization tools that are now at our disposal allow companies to cut down on printing, hence reducing the amount of waste of paper, ink, and electricity. In addition to reducing costs and damage to the environment, it will also improve internal communication in your factory. With a mobile communication tool in place, you will be able to encourage real-time collaboration among employees as well as send updates, protocols, and crisis communications faster.
4. Swap to eco-friendly products and materials
Instead of using cleaning products loaded with chemicals that are harmful when released into the environment and that are dangerous for people to breathe, it would be better to switch to greener products. Although the market is saturated with chemical-filled products, more and more green products have started popping up.
These products not only help reduce pollution to waterways, but they also lessen the impact on ozone depletion and global warming. This all because they have fewer smog-producing chemicals. Additionally, green cleaning chemicals suppliers who offer sustainable products do not package them in plastic. Rather they use recyclable packing which further minimizes waste.
5. Proper disposal of hazardous waste products
These products include:
- Fluorescent tubes and CFL’s
- Fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides
- Batteries and Electronics (cartridges, toner)
- Paint products (solvent-based and water bases)
- Automotive products (gasoline, motor oil, polish, wax)
- Universal materials (thermometers and thermostats)
- Needles and lancets
- Spot removers
- Gas cylinders
- Adhesives and glues
- Ammunition and ammonia
It is important to find a company to help you dispose of these wastes properly before they are released into the environment.
To Sum Up: Embrace Technological Research and Development
By embracing technological advancement, the company, whether in the manufacturing or services industry, can automate certain processes. This can help reduce electricity consumption and increase productivity.