People all over the world are taking steps to lessen their impact on the environment, but each individual can only do so much. Because fossil fuel-burning factories are the biggest contributors to global climate change, it’s becoming more and more necessary for manufacturers to adopt eco-friendly practices.
Good environmental practice actually has a number of positive effects on businesses. For example, recycling can reduce costs tremendously, because you won’t be using unnecessary materials. Additionally, good practice can attract new customers. Consumers want to know their money is going towards a good cause. By enacting and advertising environmentally friendly processes in your manufacturing strategy, you’ll reach a whole new target market that you may not otherwise have accessed.
Steps Factories Can Take
For manufacturers, limited resources can pose complications when it comes to adopting eco-friendly practices. Because these practices can have high upfront costs, and because manufacturers don’t have consumer brands (their customers do), the issue of pricing can put manufacturers in a bind.
Consumers don’t see what happens on the processing floor, but they do reap the benefits of eco-friendly processes. Manufacturers can have a huge impact, and there are a number of simple, cost-effective steps to take. n
- Conserve water. One of the easiest ways to reduce water consumption is to harvest rainwater. In areas that get a lot of precipitation, this is an especially viable option, because you may never have to rely on the local water system again. The upfront cost of a pump and barrel, as well as connecting the implements to your gutter system, can cost a few thousand dollars. However, this will quickly pay for itself, as this water can be used for almost all applications, from washing parts to running the indoor plumbing system.
- Keep parts clean. By upgrading the system you use to clean machine parts, you can drastically reduce the use of harmful chemicals and solvents. An eco-friendly cleaner uses biodegradable materials to dislodge oil and dirt particles, filtering out impurities. Clean parts mean machines run smoothly and safely, which is good for the environment and for employees.
- Conduct an energy audit. Energy efficient practices can cut costs significantly, and one way to figure out where to implement these practices is to conduct an audit. Simple changes like replacing incandescent lights with CFL fixtures and switching out dirty HVAC filters for clean ones can save surprising amounts of money. You may even discover that switching to a renewable energy source, such as solar or wind energy, can help you save money – especially when you take into account tax breaks and other incentives.
Final Thoughts: Clean Air Matters
Factory emissions contribute significantly to air pollution, which is why it’s so important to take the right steps forward in reducing them. But clean air matters just as much within the factory setting. Just as outdoor air pollution can cause respiratory damage to the general population, low indoor air quality can make factory workers sick.
Similarly, processing plants’ emissions need to be controlled to minimize environmental impact – and it’s just as important to filter toxic fumes and circulate stale air with industrial ventilation systems to minimize negative health consequences for workers.
No matter how large or small your company, there is always something you can do to improve quality of life – both for your employees and for those who live nearby. Your community – and the planet – will thank you.