Climate change has become the most burning topic of this century; one that can affect the whole planet. People are marching on the streets against greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels that cause climate change.
With this growing attention on the effects of climate change, most manufacturing industries are being questioned about the way they operate. Since their manufacturing process produces massive amounts of waste material, toxic chemicals, and non-renewable energy consumption, they are the third biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
So what is the solution for this? The simple answer is to go green! By adopting some green manufacturing initiatives, factories can transform themselves from being hazardous to eco-friendly.
What does it mean to ‘go green’ for manufacturing factories?
Going green for factories means working on a sustainable way to operate, in terms of production, methods, and energy usage. A green manufacturing process strikes the right balance between energy efficiency and business needs. What makes a factory ‘green’ is the overall structure as well as the materials and energy used.
Why opt for green manufacturing?
Most factory managers aren’t too concerned about the effects of greenhouse gases. Many of them even believe that going green or opting for alternative energy can harm their profit margins. But they couldn’t be more wrong. On the contrary, going green manufacturing can actually boost their business in the future. Here’s how:
- Attract eco-conscious customers – Millennial consumers are more likely to purchase and support products that are produced in a sustainable way. They’re even willing to pay more for it! Green manufacturing can increase your brand’s reputation and attract more eco-conscious customers.
- Get ahead with legal compliance – More and more countries are taking action against carbon emissions and enforcing new laws on their factories. The Canadian government allows tax incentives for green factories. By going green, factories can get ahead of the upcoming environmental laws.
- Increase production efficiency – Being energy efficient has its perks. Energy efficiency saves on your energy bills in the long run. Using solar power or wind power can minimize utility bills. It reduces waste and all the materials are used for production. Recycling and banning the use of paper can also save on supply costs.
Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Initiatives
Here are some green manufacturing initiatives that factories can employ to be more eco-friendly and sustainable:
1. Use renewable energy
The energy that doesn’t come from conventional fossil fuels is known as alternative energy or renewable energy. Most of our factories depend on fossil fuels such as diesel, coal or engine oil as their main source of energy. These fossil fuels have an adverse effect on us since they emit toxic gases and pollute the environment.
Using renewable energy such as solar power, wind power, or geothermal energy, on the other hand, has longterm benefits. Hydropower is also a good source of renewable energy. Using permanent magnet generator synchronization, you can improve the energy situation in your factory. Although setting up an alternative energy power plant can cost a lot of money at first, it will surely provide many more benefits in the long run.
2. Conduct an energy audit
You can get an analysis report of your factory’s energy consumption by conducting an energy audit. An energy audit is the best way to know which equipment or process consumes more energy and which is energy efficient. You can then take the initiative to cut down on this consumption either by changing the process or the equipment. You have to conduct a regular energy audit to keep track of things. Click here to know more.
3. Upgrade your facility
Most factories run for decades without any major upgrades. They use old machines that are faulty and worn out, consuming a lot of energy. Up to 70% of the energy used by outdated machines can be saved with an upgrade. It can be as simple as opting for an efficient lighting system like changing from incandescent bulbs to CFL lighting. Or it could be more radical like converting to solar power.
4. Conserving water
Manufacturing companies use a lot of water for production. Manufacturing a kilogram of paper can consume more than 100,000 liters of water. To conserve water in your facility, you can call up technical experts and run an audit. Then you can devise a strategy to conserve water, such as using biological water treatment.
5. Inventory control
Unfortunately for production companies, there is a trend of ‘the more the merrier’. Most company orders supply more than they need and a good portion goes to waste. Ordering exactly what’s needed and monitoring its proper use can help to minimize unnecessary waste. The accurate order of supplies can also reduce your production costs.
6. Reduce, reuse and recycle
Following outdated methods of production can lead to a lot of waste. You can adopt a smarter strategy that uses raw materials efficiently to reduce waste. You can easily recycle paper, plastics, glass or other materials. If you don’t have recycling facilities in your factory, you can send them to a nearby recycling facility.
The things that can’t be recycled can be used in an alternative way. For example, for the wood industry, discarded sawdust can be used for composting. Once you start to put together ideas for reusing and recycling you would be amazed by how much waste you can save and reuse.
No matter how much we try to play it down, climate change and global warming is a real threat. As manufacturing factories are largely responsible for our increased carbon footprint and the greenhouse effect, we should focus on green manufacturing methods. They’ll not only benefit the planet, but also your business in the long run. Although a radical shift may seem daunting at first, a gradual shift towards green energy tactics is the perfect place to start.
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