Sustainability is one of the most prominent words in business today. In a recent American survey, over 62% of company owners said to be competitive in today’s world believe you need a sustainability strategy. A further 22% thought that in the future, your company would need to add this to their core values. This is a vast number of executives all focussing on one thing; the consumers demand for business to be more socially and ecologically responsible. 

The expectations from consumers for businesses to increase their responsibility means they are demanding transparency. You need to recognize the need to act, communicating and showing you have intention isn’t enough to keep the public happy. They want to see change, and they want to see results. 

One of the areas that companies need to work on is the manufacturing process. From prototype to delivery, the process of manufacturing produces a considerable amount of waste. There are multiple ways you can make a difference and communicate this with your consumer while keeping your company costs to a minimum. 

Making use of businesses such as Rapid PSI who offer a 3D prototyping stage, could help you reduce waste dramatically in the early stage of your manufacturing process. 3D printing reduces the amount of material needed to start modeling your product. This intelligent technology only uses what it needs to build your product. 

Energy waste is another area that businesses can address. You can improve the sustainability of your manufacturing processes by switching to renewable energy. Research the options available to you. There are multiple clean energies including wind, solar and hydro. This will help sustain our natural fossil fuels, and you will also find a reduction in your energy bills. Speak to some experts and find out what you can do to get cleaner energy in your manufacturing plant.

There are some waste products that we can’t reuse or recycle. Hazardous chemicals need to be disposed of by an outsourced company. But throughout the manufacturing process, you can be more responsible with your waste. Start with simple changes such as recycling your paper and cardboard. Some innovative companies are using their card and paper waste to create their own packaging! You can also research local companies that could benefit from your waste. If you have wood or sawdust, farmers can reuse this for animal bedding. Any faulty products could be sent to schools or training academies to help aspiring engineers with their learning and understanding. 

Finally, speak to your suppliers. You need to know how much energy is being used in the production and delivery of the vital components you need. While the consumer is putting pressure on you to be more sustainable, you need to make higher demands on your B2B relationships. See if there are ways you can reduce waste produced by logistics. Maybe you could source your components from nearer to home, or find alternative shipping methods to bring the parts you need into your country. 

It’s time to act. The world needs businesses to create a culture of sustainability within their core values. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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