The Critical Role of Sustainability Practices in Manufacturing
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Manufacturing processes are currently undergoing an incredible transformation toward greener, more sustainable practices. Increased pressure from consumers paired with aggressive goals set in place by sustainability leadership across industries has led to a higher level of focus on reducing and recycling waste generated both in the manufacturing process and via the finished products sold.
In part, this is an answer to consumer demands. In the U.S., between 2017 and 2021, the number of Americans voicing a high level of concern about climate change grew from 18% of the country’s adult population to 33%. This concern is leading consumers to pressure the businesses they interact with to take action. As documented by a Nielsen survey, 73% of consumers are willing to switch their consumption habits to help reduce their environmental impact.
It is also about our planet. Leadership now recognizes the critical role they play in reaching important carbon footprint reduction milestones. With global supply chains accounting for around 80% of total carbon emissions, manufacturing businesses are being forced to take immediate and dynamic action to combat harmful emissions.
For those managing manufacturing logistics or for those working on sustainability teams responsible for reporting on the business’ progress toward net zero emissions, the processes of tomorrow must include a direct focus on sustainability. Let’s take a look at three key ways that sustainability practices in manufacturing will play a critical role in the future success of manufacturing businesses.
1. Addressing Net Zero Goals via Scope 3 Emissions
For large organizations, combating climate change requires a proactive approach to measuring and tracking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Most corporations today, both in the private and public sectors, have adopted strategies aimed at the reduction of GHG emissions.
A key component to meeting these sustainability goals is the improved capability of reporting on and tracking emissions across the business. Referred to as scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, organizations are facing increasing pressure to own their entire supply chain from both an internal and external perspective.
Realistically, for most businesses, reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions is much easier to control. Scope 1 emissions include emissions that are the result of a company’s direct operations, such as on-site energy usage and fleet operations. Scope 2 emissions include purchased energy and electricity, another factor that can be controlled with relative ease.
However, for many leading sustainability initiatives, the reduction of scope three emissions is the most challenging. Scope 3 emissions include all indirect emissions occurring across the value chain, which include both upstream and downstream emissions. For this reason, businesses are placing an increasing amount of pressure on manufacturers to demonstrate how their operations are contributing to sustainability goals.
For manufacturing teams, this means that future relationships with downstream partners will require sustainability practices to be put into place. Manufacturers who enact sustainability initiatives today will have increased leverage for retaining key partnerships and forging new relationships as pressure continues to mount for organizations to reduce their scope three emissions.
2. Reducing Manufacturing Costs
In addition to the positive impact of sustainability practices for manufacturers on creating strong partnerships, they also simultaneously reduce manufacturing costs.
For starters, by reducing harmful waste products, manufacturers can cut down on disposal fees and containment costs. Additionally, this helps ensure that fines and penalties are avoided through the use of sustainable waste disposal management.
Using green manufacturing processes also helps cut down on energy costs and the use of water. This translates to large amounts of savings as efficiencies are improved.
3. Creating a Better Future
When manufacturers convert industrial fluids into reusable products while simultaneously reducing waste disposal, they do more than simply reduce their carbon footprint. These waste materials can often be safely disposed of in the drain with minimal or no additional chemical additives. This creates a less negative impact on the environment.
While this is undoubtedly beneficial for meeting sustainability goals, it’s about more than metrics. It’s about owning your role as a global steward in an ongoing effort to protect and serve the communities in which you live and work. This helps to create a better, more equitable future for all.
How CRS Can Help
If your manufacturing organization is looking to reduce your carbon footprint and take over control of your GHG emissions, CRS is the partner you need. For over 40 years, we have been a worldwide leader in industrial fluid and solid material management. With operations in North America, Europe, and Asia, our recycling facilities convert used fluids into specified performance levels, allowing high-yield waste recovery and lower unit costs.
At CRS, we design the most cost-effective solution for your processes based on your specifications and with consideration for sustainability and efficiency. We have been and will continue to be a key partner in meeting your sustainability goals.