Did you know over 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for products offered by environmentally friendly companies?
Evidently, greening your business does more than conserving the environment. It also gives you a competitive advantage. You’ll increase customer loyalty and save more money.
However, greening a manufacturing business is usually harder than greening a retail business. Worry not, though!
This article fleshes out 7 ways to go greener at your manufacturing facility.
1. Reduce Paper Usage
Even with the rise of technology, paper consumption has been on a steady increase in the past two decades!
Sure, paper has its benefits, but cutting your consumption is one of the simplest ways to go green. For instance, instead of mailing invoices to your clients, e-mail them.
Another strategy is to print packing labels directly on the packaging material. This is instead of printing on a paper and then attaching it to the packaging.
Do you still keep physical manufacturing records and other documents? It’s time to start storing your documents in the cloud – an efficient, paperless alternative.
2. Use Eco-Friendly Packaging
Plastic packaging is cheaper and lighter, but it’s a leading cause of environmental pollution. In the United States, plastics account for about 13 percent of municipal solid waste.
As a manufacturing facility, product packaging is a key part of your operations. That’s why embracing packaging material that’s reusable or recyclable will have a big impact on your go green efforts.
Also, most governments are banning the use of plastics. Using eco-friendly packaging will help your business stay compliant.
3. Switch to LED Lighting
A manufacturing facility has to be well-lit at all times to ensure the safety of workers.
As such, lighting is probably one of your biggest energy expenses. The good news is you can switch to LED lighting and not only bring down your lighting costs but also reduce your carbon footprint.
LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy than fluorescent bulbs and last about 25 times longer.
Reduced energy consumption means power plants won’t have to generate as much electricity as before, resulting in lower carbon emissions.
In addition to embracing LEDs, design your facility with green in mind. Make structural adjustments that allow it to receive more natural lighting. This will increase your energy savings and help boost workplace productivity.
4. Encourage Workers to Take the Stairs
Is your manufacturing facility a multistory building? If yes, encourage your employees to take the stairs instead of using the lift.
Of course, lifts are faster and more convenient. But if you’re really into the green movement, stairs should be your preferred way of getting around the facility.
Besides consuming zero electricity, taking the stairs burns calories and keeps you healthier and fitter.
5. Go Solar
Knowing that 63% of America’s electricity comes from fossil fuel power stations, it’s safe to assume this is what your manufacturing facility uses to power its operations.
If that’s the case, there’s no doubt you’ve played a role in accelerating climate change. Manufacturing facilities typically use high-voltage machines, which require high amounts of power.
However, it’s not too late to disconnect the fossil-generated electricity and say hello to clean energy, such as solar power.
Now you’re certainly wondering, “How many solar panels do I need to generate the power required to run my high-voltage machines?”
Yes, the initial solar energy investment is massive, but with the government offering the solar investment tax credit (get 30 percent off your federal taxes in 2019), you can afford it. Plus, save for ongoing maintenance, solar power will eliminate your energy bills for good.
And if the installation cost is still too high, you don’t have to go 100% solar. You can use solar energy to light up your office and run other operations that don’t require high-voltage power.
6. Use Energy Efficient and Eco-Friendly Machinery
While still on the beat of high-voltage machines, how about replacing them with ones that are eco-friendly and more energy efficient?
Regardless of your manufacturing niche, you’ll find newer machines and tools that are better for the environment.
If your manufacturing processes involve cutting or fabricating metals, for example, abandon mechanical or thermal cutting systems and embrace waterjet cutting. Waterjet machines use water and other sustainable abrasives to slice into metal.
Interested? Be sure to compare prices and features of the various waterjet machines on the marketing before purchasing.
7. Hire Facility Managers with Training in Sustainable Manufacturing
At the end of the day, going green is a collective effort. If your employees don’t believe in climate change or in your efforts to make the facility environmentally friendly, you can only do so much.
This is why you need to hire facility managers with training in sustainable manufacturing. Alternatively, encourage your current employees to pursue short sustainable manufacturing courses.
The more the facility’s workers know about environmental sustainability in manufacturing, the more likely they’re to adhere to your green policies.
Embrace These Ways to Go Greener!
Greening a manufacturing facility is often costly and time-intensive. However, it will save you money in the long run, enhance your business’ reputation and, of course, help you protect the environment and decelerate the effects of climate change.
What’s more, we have described some of the ways to go greener and achieve a sustainable manufacturing facility. From simple changes such as using less paper to more complex ones such as installing eco-friendly machines and tools, there’s something you can do to help save our planet.
And, keep coming back to our blog for more green business insights.