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Green Manufacturing – The Challenge Ahead

Posted on June 30, 2021

Sectors across the world are looking into ways to become greener as a business without stunting their growth or compromising their competitiveness. Striking the balance on this is not always easy but, climate change is very likely to go down as the defining challenge with the pressure mounting. Reducing environmental pollution, waste and using energy more efficiently will all be crucial factors.

Going Green

In manufacturing, companies are seeing improved bottom lines once they start the shift to a greener way of business. Along with this, they are also receiving better reputations and a more motivated workforce. Green manufacturing firms are experiencing a boom in job creation meanwhile, other businesses have been reducing the number of employees. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a huge strain on every sector (Click here to see how R&D Tax Credits can help your business through a lockdown) but researching and developing sustainable products and processes are still vital tools in taking industries forward.

Not only is it essential that manufacturing lead the change of a green future, but it is also inescapable. Loads of businesses across this sector are shifting towards sustainable materials, packaging and in some cases green electronics. Manufacturing firms are driving down their water consumption and reducing their carbon footprint. Biomaterials such as wheat straw plastics are starting to rise in popularity simply because they offer a 90% drop in water and save you an extra 40% in energy.

Power of connection

Efficient use of energy can provide so great benefits for green manufacturing such as shifting towards decarbonised power and more sustainable electricity. The IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) are working hard in streamlining processes this is done by, linking up sensing and actuation equipment. This is a brilliant way of optimising energy consumption and predictive technologies are working to reduce downtimes and boost productivity.

Impact of COVID-19

The challenges pushed into the path of the manufacturing industry since the COVID-19 outbreak has been one of the biggest shocks felt by this industry. One of the biggest shocks felt by this industry is the fluctuation of demand for products, the ability to supply them and having the workforce available to produce them.

Not all the impacts have been identical. Some manufacturers have seen an unprecedented jump in demand due to panic buyers, meanwhile, others have seen demand for their product drop. Businesses that are heavily dependent on overseas suppliers have been struggling to adapt and in some cases, they have even struggled to meet their basic day to day requirements.

For the future

The drive to innovate in a green manner is a huge pivotal factor for manufacturing. Research and development behind remote diagnostics and collaborations are being put under the spotlight during a time where social distancing requirements risk costing businesses up to 50% of their workforce. 

The world is set to have consumed nearly 75% of all its natural resources in the next 30 years and we need to tackle the CO2 crisis. By 2030 we will need to halve our CO2 output to avoid irreversible damage. By pursuing a greener future you could experience: a boost of productivity, public relations advantages and could help in the future to save money. 

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