Manufacturing Sustainability

How Eco Friendly Is the UK Manufacturing Industry? An Overview

Businesses across the world are looking at ways they can reduce the level of waste they produce, whether that’s switching to eco-friendly packaging or incorporating greener manufacturing methods. However, this is not so simple for companies and businesses that use large amounts of packaging or physical products. A sector that springs to mind is manufacturing, due to their usage of packaging and the waste that is often created as part of the process. Therefore, it’s not difficult to see why they aren’t typically seen as environmentally friendly or clean.

That being said things have drastically changed and the manufacturing industry is now on board with the green movement more than ever. Sustainability, healthier environments and lower costs are just some of their incentives. Here, we’ve taken a look at some of the ways those in manufacturing are incorporating more eco-friendly practices.

Reducing waste

One of the biggest concerns for the manufacturing industry is the efficient use of raw materials. Think of wood products and the huge demand for these which has resulted in the cutting down of many forests around the world. To combat this, manufacturing companies are looking into more sustainable materials, such as bamboo which grows faster and yields a bigger crop and so is becoming more popular in the industry.

Recycling

In the same style as reducing waste, more and more manufacturers are adopting recycling policies as an important part of their eco-friendly process. Some are choosing to use recycled products to feature as the base of their own products, instead of raw materials.

New materials that have the durability of plastic are now appearing all over the market, providing our manufacturers with a much greener option for their products and packaging.

Tente is a prime example of a manufacturer who has heavily researched sustainability and developing more environmentally friendly products. Their castor wheels now emit less noise while still offering the same load capacity and their lightweight construction means companies save when it comes to operating costs, as well as carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption.

Lean production

The 1980s and 1990s saw a huge revaluation in manufacturing when it comes to lean production. While it’s main focus is on lowering production costs lean production has another great benefit: it’s green.

Reducing waste across the board, lean production focuses on ‘just in time production‘ so that companies are only employing the number of people they need, producing and shipping only as much as they need and streamlining their process to maximise efficiency. New advances in technology make it possible for improvement across all aspects of production and makes it possible to reduce energy consumption.

Updating facilities 

When people think of manufacturing, they often picture big factories with huge smoke stacks coming from them, by far not the greenest of images we’ve ever had. The move to greener facilities whether they’re new or refurbished means we can make this image a thing of the past.

Inefficient machinery can consume 70 per cent more energy than it needs to; focusing on energy efficient plants will help manufacturers reduce their energy consumption, and bill. Other areas that are being focused upon include heating and cooling, investing in clean renewable energy, such as solar or wind power.

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