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What Are the Best Tips for Manufacturing Sustainability?

Article Details
  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a number of ways to improve manufacturing sustainability. As consumers demand more sustainability practices from the companies that they buy from, it becomes economically advantageous for companies to adopt more sustainable practices, even though it may cost more money initially to make a company more sustainable. Improving energy use, making products out of high quality, sustainable materials, and decreasing the amount of packaging are all ways for manufacturers to improve their sustainability.

One way to increase manufacturing sustainability is by using sustainable materials in the products that are made. Many materials can be used in lieu of materials that may be difficult to replenish, such as substituting a common variety of wood for a rare variety. In most cases, manufacturing can be made more sustainable by examining the materials used and choosing to utilize those materials that have less impact on the environment. In 2011, many sustainable materials are cheaper, so switching materials can also help a manufacturing company save money.

Energy use is another way that a factory can improve manufacturing sustainability. Manufacturing uses a great deal of energy, much of which is purchased from power plants that use fossil fuels, which are unsustainable, in the generation of energy. Adding solar or wind power to a manufacturing plant can help offset the company’s energy use, even if these energy sources cannot supply 100% of the energy needs of the company.

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Manufacturing sustainability can also be improved by choosing different packaging for products. In the past, packaging was often created to inflate the perceived size or amount of a product. Many companies have realized that this creates an undue amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Sizing packaging to simply fit the product can help a manufacturing company increase its sustainability and save money on the costs of the packaging materials.

Improving the quality of a product so that it lasts longer is another way of improving manufacturing sustainability. Products that are built to last reduce the need for duplicate products in the future, and though this may lead to less demand, customer loyalty can be dramatically increased and new clients can be acquired if the product is known for its high quality and durable construction. Products that last longer stay out of landfills. This increases the long term manufacturing sustainability of a company.

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