Sustainable Manufacturing: What Does it Mean for Your Business?

These days, manufacturing businesses face a lot of pressure to stay competitive. In simple terms, this is done by minimizing costs and maximizing profits. As a result, businesses the world over have perhaps made decisions with money, not the environment, in mind.

But sustainable manufacturing is the future – of that there’s no question. The Canadian government in particular has been pushing for manufacturers across the country to implement more clean technologies, to work toward less wasteful processes and to ultimately reduce the mark we leave on the world, including both physical waste (as in surplus or leftover product) and environmentally (meaning the overall carbon footprint).

It’s the year 2021, and sustainable manufacturing is on the agenda. But it’s a term banded around often, and frequently with multiple or varying meanings. So what does sustainable manufacturing encompass and look like in terms of operations?

Clean, green technologies

Similarly to most industries today, technology has helped the manufacturing sector progress from once clunky machines to shiny, streamlined equipment built for the purpose of high output, low cost. Now, as sustainability becomes a key factor, much of this technology has become green. That is, it allows manufacturers to maintain their levels of productivity whilst having less of an impact on the world around them, and reducing overall waste.

Less wasting, more reusing

Speaking of reducing waste, it’s not just about removing it altogether – less waste also means reusing what’s able to be reused, whether to generate energy, repurpose into secondary products or otherwise. Sustainable manufacturing means identifying where over-expenditure is happening, where it can be cut down, and getting creative around what could be done to turn waste into something useful.

Resourceful practices, to save on resources!

And, to follow on from above, sustainable manufacturing means getting the most out of every resource the business uses while causing the least impact – people included. Particularly as we navigate the post-Covid world, manufacturers will begin looking at methods of cutting down the carbon footprint their own people leave behind, let alone the plant itself. This could mean remote administration teams to cut down on travel, or reducing the number of printed products used in the office for instance.

Ultimately, sustainable manufacturing is a matter of improving energy and environmental efficiency across the board. Doing so not only improves your carbon footprint, but could save money and decrease ongoing running costs too… Some would call that a win-win.

But that’s not where the benefits end.

Social and environmental responsibility is a huge topic of conversation in many sectors, and ours is no exception. People are talking about this and, when it comes to finding a new place to work, they want to see that you are too. Wholeheartedly embracing sustainability across your operations will help your business attract the industry’s top talent – the real forward thinkers, the progressive individuals who’ll value an eco-conscious business and consider you to be an employer of choice.

The official definition of sustainable is, “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” But sustainability in manufacturing doesn’t just mean staying where you are – it’s about building towards a bigger, better future. It’s about sustainable growth, and that’s certainly the way many of our clients are choosing to look at it.

We’re working with some incredible businesses across Canada, from pharma and automotive to agriculture and more. All of whom understand that the future looks greener than ever – and want to bring aboard the workforce who can help cement their futures within that.

To talk about how we’re building high-performance teams within the manufacturing industry, including payrolling and other auxiliary services relating to staffing, get in touch today.

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