Managing operations in an environmentally and socially responsible manner is no longer just nice-to-have but is crucial for a business. Many businesses have already started to take important steps towards green growth- ensuring that their development is economically and environmentally sustainable. They are already involved in initiatives and innovations that are helping to foster healthier environments, enhance their competitive edge, reduce risks, builds trust, drive investment, attract customers and generate profits.
Sustainable manufacturing is all about minimizing the diverse business risk inherent in any manufacturing operation while maximizing the new opportunities that arise from improving your processes and products. While sustainability focuses on environmentally friendly processes that solve one part of the puzzle, sustainable manufacturing ensures the safety of products, employees and the local community. It encompasses values-based production with minimal negative results thus helping improve the performance of any company.
Many companies incorporate sustainability into the product itself not only in the efficiency of their processes. Coca-Cola has made aggressive goals to improve water stewardship, protect the climate and produce sustainable packaging. It plans to work with its partners to recycle the equivalent of 75 % of the bottles and cans it develops by 2020.
In Africa, GE Nigeria is committed to the development of the African future through GE Kujenga sustainability Programme. With the approach of empowering people by building valuable skills, equipping the community with new tools and technology, elevating ideas are helping solve Africa’s challenges. In the manufacturing sector, GE is aligning its operational and commercial timelines for local content in order to save on energy.
These days doing business built on good environmental practice is increasingly becoming essential in the eyes of investors, regulators, customers and the community where one operates. Failure brings with it high costs- fines, penalties, local unrests and loss of customers. Success, on the other hand, saves money, build a reputation, attracts investments, spurs innovation and secures customers’ loyalty.
Benefiting from sustainable manufacturing is not just a game for big business. New firms and small businesses can also play an exciting role. Startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with their flexible business models and less reliance on established ways of working, can also benefit, evolve and innovate quickly to gain an advantage over the competition. A green reputation drives up your financial value. In addition to saving cost, switching to sustainable practices can boost the opportunity for grants, tax credits and other incentives at both the state and federal level. Companies with a visible reputation for environmental responsibility have higher performance than companies that do not.
Young workers value sustainability and demand green workplaces. Most people want their work to be environmentally friendly or at least environmentally aware. Over 70% of employees would like to share printers and recycling bins as well as have water-saving devices and solar panel devices installed.
Becoming a sustainable manufacturer also increases a competitive ability for government contract since many of these products are only available to sustainable manufactures. Sustainability also leads to increased innovation. When employees are encouraged to follow sustainable methods they will be inspired to pursue research and development projects that create new, efficient ways of doing things.
By becoming a sustainability manufacturing company, one decreases the carbon foot printmaking a positive difference in the safety of the employees and the community.
Manufacturing is not necessarily a wasteful or uneconomical process. Embracing sustainable manufacturing can help maintain growth in a business. Benefits go beyond the walls of the facility. Not only will companies be more productive but also have a lower impact on the environment, society and the economy. There is no better time than the present to adopt sustainable practices.