Boost Your Company's Sustainability Efforts and Brand Image with Examples of Sustainable Production and Manufacturing Practices
Sustainable production and manufacturing techniques have emerged as a major area of attention for companies aiming to lessen their environmental effect as the world begins to recognize the reality of climate change. Using sustainable practices enables businesses to decrease waste, lower expenses over time, and lessen their carbon footprint.
Reducing carbon footprint is a major area of concern for sustainable manufacturing and production. This can be accomplished in several ways, including converting to renewable energy sources and improving logistics and transportation. IKEA, a Swedish furniture company, has pledged to achieve climate positivity by 2030, which means it will cut greenhouse gas emissions more than it produces.
Adidas, a maker of athletic apparel, is another business that has made tremendous progress in lowering its carbon impact. Adidas met its objective of employing only renewable energy sources in all the owned and operated sites across the world by the year 2020. Also, the corporation has established a goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to its baseline year of 2017. Adidas is making investments in clean energy, energy-efficient structures, and environmentally friendly transportation to meet this objective.
Companies must lessen their carbon impact, but many nations also have laws requiring it. The European Union, for instance, has set a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The EU has put up several initiatives to meet this goal, including a carbon pricing mechanism, a regulation on renewable energy, and a sustainable finance taxonomy. Businesses doing business in the EU are required to abide by these regulations and lessen their carbon footprints correspondingly.
Sustainable production and manufacturing also involve limiting waste in addition to lowering carbon footprint. This can be accomplished in several ways, including by streamlining production procedures and creating circular products. For instance, the automaker BMW installed a closed-loop recycling system at its Spartanburg, South Carolina, factory. With this technology, the business can recycle foam, plastic, and up to 100% of the waste produced during the making of its X models.
Fashion retailer H&M is another business that has embraced circularity. H&M introduced its circular business model in 2020 to extend the life of products and materials. In line with this business model, H&M gathers consumer-worn garments to either sell or recycle into new textiles. Also, the business has established a goal of becoming climate positive across its whole value chain by 2030.
Keeping waste to a minimum not only lessens an organization's impact on the environment, but also saves money over time. BMW, for instance, can cut expenses by creating a closed-loop recycling system and avoiding the need to purchase raw materials. Similar to this, H&M lowers its reliance on virgin resources and lowers the price of acquiring raw materials by gathering and recycling worn apparel.
Using sustainable production and manufacturing methods is, of course, not always simple. It frequently calls for a large financial and time investment. Nevertheless, there may be substantial financial as well as environmental advantages. For instance, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reported that by 2030, a circular economy may produce $4.5 trillion in economic benefits.
Sustainable production and manufacturing can help improve a business's reputation and attract customers who are becoming more environmentally conscious. According to a Nielsen survey, 81% of consumers worldwide strongly agree that businesses should contribute to environmental improvement.
Patagonia, a retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment, is one business that has effectively used sustainable production and manufacturing processes to improve its reputation. Patagonia has long been a pioneer in sustainability, and its dedication to caring for the environment has won it a devoted following among customers. In addition to employing organic and recycled materials in its products, the company has reduced the amount of water and energy used in its factories and opted to use renewable energy sources. Patagonia also promotes the repair and reuse of its customers' products rather than their disposal. Even after launching a program allowing customers to turn in their used Patagonia apparel for credit toward new products, the firm now offers repair services for its products.
By using environmentally friendly production and manufacturing methods, Patagonia has not only lessened its impact on the environment but also set itself apart from rivals and developed a strong brand identity. Sustainable business practices can be an effective strategy for winning over customers' trust and loyalty in a world where consumers are becoming more aware of environmental issues and demanding accountability and transparency from businesses.
In conclusion, for businesses wanting to lessen their environmental effect and create a sustainable future, sustainable production, and manufacturing processes are essential. Businesses can not only save money over time by lowering their carbon footprint and waste, but they can also improve their reputation and marketability. The benefits of adopting sustainable practices can be substantial, both for the environment and for the bottom line, even if they may demand a sizable investment. Sustainable production and manufacturing processes will only grow more crucial as the world struggles to address the effects of climate change, and businesses that adopt them will be better positioned for long-term success.
Author: Nicoleta Talpes Entrepreneur, strategic communications expert, sustainability communication strategist, and international advisor for companies, NGOs, and startups.