The greening movement has been, for the most part, quite successful. Not only have eco-friendly trends and practices become commonplace among U.S. consumers, but the movement is singularly responsible for several significant technological breakthroughs and advancements over recent years. While shoppers are buying more green products than ever before, there are still some issues left in other areas to address — mainly, the manufacturing industry.
Many factories are still slow-moving or virtually stagnant when it comes to getting eco-friendly initiatives underway. In fact, factories remain one of the biggest contributors to industrial waste and pollution today. Manufacturers can improve the eco-friendliness of their companies by making a few important changes. Some are easier than others, but in the long-run, they are all worth looking into and trying out. The future of our planet depends on it.
If you’re in the industry and looking to promote change from within, or maybe you’re just a concerned consumer who would like to speak up to your local and even larger-sized businesses, check out these quick tips — they will undoubtedly help make your argument more likely to succeed!
- Change Up Your Lighting
One of the most effective actions you can take to save power on a consumer level is to turn off your home’s lights when they’re not in use. But this tactic can be applied to the factory, too. If your operation only maintains one daily shift of workers, it’s rather easy to turn off the lights and shut down equipment at the end of the day. When dealing with multiple shifts at different times of the day and night, however, it’s not so straightforward.
In this case, try to utilize natural daylight as much as possible. Remove any shades or blinders from the windows for the dayshift and install energy-efficient lighting for late shift workers. Basic tips like this can go a long way in reducing your factory’s energy costs and, as a result, making your entire company greener.
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Most millennials were taught these “three Rs” as a child: reduce, reuse and recycle. By reducing the overall amount of things you consume in the first place, reusing that which you do need and recycling whatever you can, you can contribute to the greening movement on a daily basis. This is another greening strategy that’s easily transferrable to the factory floor by reducing product packaging, reusing materials like pallets and storage bins and recycling waste.
- Introduce Energy-Efficient Machinery to Your Factory
As mentioned earlier, recent technological advancements have made it possible for factory equipment to reach new heights of energy efficiency. Not only does this benefit the environment in numerous ways, but those who replace their old or outdated machinery might even benefit from new functionality, upgrades and improved performance across the board.
Startup shops can take advantage of this trend and stock their factory floor with the latest, most eco-friendly equipment right from the start. There are also plenty of incentives and places to find savings, deals and other great opportunities for your business when it comes to purchasing energy-efficient machinery, so it might not be as costly as you think.
- Source Local Materials Whenever Possible
It might not be apparent in some cases, but many factors contribute to the overall carbon footprint of your company. One of the less-obvious aspects is that of sourcing the raw materials needed for day-to-day production.
Utilizing local sources whenever possible benefits you as well as the surrounding community. The fact that your materials have less distance to travel ultimately minimizes your carbon footprint, and local businesses will always appreciate the patronage.
- Embrace Alternative Energy
Alternative energy, including solar, wind or even hydroelectric power, is a great way to reduce your factory’s utility bills and contribute to the greening movement at the same time. While these systems were once reserved for only the largest and wealthiest of factories, current-gen infrastructure can be surprisingly affordable on a smaller scale. Those who require larger installations can typically benefit from long-term financing to help pay for the new system.
From the Home to the Factory Floor
Many of the energy-saving tips and tricks we use throughout the home can be expanded and transitioned into the modern factory. Limiting our use of electronics, recycling, and frequenting local shops are strategies that can easily be scaled up and applied to both realms. Although it might take a little more effort to maintain an eco-conscious mindset across your entire factory, the concept remains the same. Our environment will thank you for it.