Green manufacturing: 8 strategies for success

Green Manufacturing: 8 strategies for success

Green manufacturing involves using sustainable practices and materials in your processes and products. By going green, you'll be helping the environment, but it will benefit your operations in a number of ways:

  • Lower costs
  • Reduced waste
  • Enhanced public image
  • Improved compliance with environmental regulations

It's a competitive market. Green manufacturing can really help your company stand out from the crowd. 

Getting to green 

If you're just starting out on the road to green, here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Design for disassembly, remanufacture or reuse. Develop products so they can be easily taken apart and the parts used in later generations of products.
  2. Rethink product and process technology. Reduce the number of parts per product. Switch to a more environmentally friendly process. Minimize the number of process steps.
  3. Streamline the supply chain. Minimize inventory or eliminate most of it with just-in-time manufacturing. Switch to paperless inventory control. Source materials and parts locally.
  4. Reduce energy and water consumption. Integrate energy management software into your processes and building equipment, upgrade process and office equipment with more efficient models.
  5. Choose recyclable or biodegradable materials and packaging. This gives your products a competitive advantage.
  6. Integrate environmental costs into your production budget. When you know the true cost of a product you can determine ways to reduce its environmental impact.
  7. Use ISO 14001 as a jumping-off point. This environmental management systems standard outlines requirements for preventing pollution and for continuous improvement.
  8. Find a reverse logistics supply vendor. These firms work with companies to take back excess inventory for part recovery and reusing out-of-date or replaced products.

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