Smart ways to run an eco-friendly manufacturing business

Content provided by a guest contributor.

The manufacturing industry is not typically seen as the most environmentally friendly business sector. But the industry is, however, moving in the right direction.

More business owners are going green. And this is a big win for the industry, as it improves the carbon impact on the environment. Running an eco-friendly business means that you are conscious of the environment you operate in. It’s about trying to reduce the amount of waste you produce, as well as the water and energy consumption in your business operations.

So, if you are operating in the manufacturing industry, there are many ways to make your processes eco-friendly:

Use water wisely

Water is one of the most scarce resources in the world. And whether your business has experienced any water shortages or not, everyone should play their part in saving this valuable resource. Make small changes, such as fixing any pipe leakages in the building. Also, consider investing in low flow toilets or low flow faucet aerators for the bathrooms.

If you run a manufacturing business, you should consider industrial water treatments. Desalination and water treatments are common in large manufacturing businesses, and there are effective water solutions to redress wastewater. While water treatment services in South Africa can be a costly route to go, it’s a vital method to access recycled water.

There are many water treatment experts to help you choose a suitable water solution for your business. You can have a water specialist conduct a water audit for your business. This method is used to quantify your business’s water consumption and reduce it.

Lower your energy footprint

For many businesses, your energy bill is one of the most costly expenses to fork out every month. An energy audit will provide you with a detailed outline of the amount of energy your business uses. You could hire an energy utility company to do a full inspection of your firm. These professionals will check for any insulation issues, air duct leaks and lighting.

When the audit is complete, you will know exactly where your energy is going and how you can start setting an energy-saving plan in motion. Be sure to set clear energy-saving goals so that you have a target to measure your success.

Embrace renewable energy

One of the easiest ways to lower your energy footprint is to invest in renewable energy sources. Consider sources such as solar panels, wind and hydroelectric power. Not only will you be conserving energy, but you will be saving money at the same time.

After you have conducted an energy audit, find out what you can replace with newer technology. Do not expect to switch to green power sources immediately. It will take time, but taking small measurable steps, such as installing solar panels, is the way to go.

Update your facilities

Manufacturing firms are notoriously known as big smoke factories, and although there might be some truth to that, manufacturing company’s are shifting from that narrative and are slowly becoming greener. If you are an industrial firm which manufactures goods, it’s important to regularly update your outdated equipment to the latest ones. New machinery has a much lower carbon footprint. By investing in new machinery, you can potentially lower your energy consumption and simultaneously have faster and more efficient production.

Get your employees on board

Your employees are your greatest asset and are the main drivers of your business’s success. In any sustainability initiative, such as lowering your company’s carbon footprint, they need to be on board, and they also have to understand the reasoning behind it.

If your employees are encouraged to save water and preserve energy, you will yield positive results. If you want a green operation, you will have to create a mindful environment, which is excellent for the overall culture in your office and a step in the right direction.

Choose sustainable partners

When working towards becoming an eco-friendly business, you should expand your horizons and look beyond your own business operations. Review how your partners and suppliers run their operations and choose environmentally conscious partners to work with. This way, you can be confident that the materials you use have a low impact on the environment.

Choosing a sustainable partner solely depends on evaluating their social and environmental impact before you bring them on board. So, be sure that the supplier you choose can meet your environmental and social concerns, and help your business grow sustainably.

Final words

As a business owner, you don’t have to rush to make drastic changes. Take small measurable changes you can monitor, and work towards a bigger purpose.

Running an eco-friendly production is an opportunity to generate a positive image for your business. A great idea is to include your sustainability efforts on your company’s website and social channels, to keep your followers in the loop with what you are doing. Your customers will know if you are authentic or not, so be sure not to use this as a marketing instrument.


The content in this article was provided by Rogerwilco – a South African marketing agency based in Cape Town.

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