Top Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Business
It is becoming more and more important to adopt new practices that will improve the sustainability of manufacturing businesses. This is because they are coming under scrutiny due to the waste that is created in the input and output process. As a business, you don’t have to overhaul your entire company. You can start with small steps and slowly work your way up to bigger changes. Not only will this help you meet Government quotas, but it will also help you lower costs, improve your company image and create new opportunities for your business.
To help you get started and make your manufacturing business more sustainable, here are some top tips.
#1 Decrease your energy consumption
Energy consumption can be extremely high in manufacturing businesses, with a variety of machines being used at any one time. You should start by undertaking an energy survey around your company to see where your energy is being used. This will help you identify the areas with a large consumption, so you can begin to assess where there are deficiencies and things that can be changed. For example, you might find that a portion of the energy is being used unnecessarily. The awareness of your energy consumption will help you move forward more efficiently and make necessary changes.
As well as changing your practices to reduce energy consumption, you may also choose to replace your old, inefficient light bulbs with LED or CFL models, upgrade your insulation, draught-proof your building, and install a programmable thermostat. You may also find that you can upgrade your equipment. For example, you can add propane conversion kits to your forklifts, to reduce the toxic gases that are released. These changes will help reduce your overall consumption and stay on track.
#2 Use renewable energy
The best way to improve the sustainability of your business is by implementing renewable energy sources. These will take a little more investment at the beginning, but they will help you be more sustainable, and significantly reduce the manufacturing costs you have to bear. This is because you can utilize power sources such as solar power, wind, hydro, and biomass. These are clean, and provide your business with more freedom around energy consumption, and an abundance of clean energy to utilize.
#3 Streamline processes
As businesses grow, they tend to add more processes and systems into the mix. While this is helpful to the way you and your employees work, it often creates inefficient and unsustainable working practices. You must take time to review your processes, systems, and equipment, and gain the opinions of your employees. This will help you see where time, energy, and money are being wasted, so you can cut down on unnecessary processes and systems. Even small changes, such as the number of systems that your employee’s computers are running in the warehouse will be helpful, as computers take up a lot of energy.
#4 Reduce waste
Reducing waste, such as time and materials, is key to making your business more eco-friendly. You can adopt a lean approach to your manufacturing business, which will guide you through the process of identifying waste and helping you find the best ways to reduce it. You may find that you can source better materials, or you can reuse the cut-offs.
Making your business more sustainable is vital. Follow these top tips to help you get started.