Sustainable manufacturing has become more than common buzzword companies used in the past to drive sales or improve customer retention. Sustainable manufacturing is defined as the creation of manufactured products through economically sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources.

In today’s marketplace, top manufacturing and design companies are working to incorporate sustainable practices into every level of their organization.

Sustainable Manufacturing: What It Looks Like in 2019

Why? Besides minimizing their negative environmental impact, businesses see a host of financial, environmental and community building benefits that come when sustainability becomes part of their overall business goals and strategy.

Let’s take a look at some of the top methods businesses in every industry are using to truly integrate sustainable manufacturing into their processes.

Optimized Business Operations

When looking at the manufacturing industry, a large amount of “green impact” can be made by focusing in on production, which typically creates the highest energy costs. Generally speaking, emission-reducing opportunities involve behavioral, procedural and upkeep matters rather than the purchasing of new equipment.

Practices like improving water stewardship, waste reduction and more low-investment strategies such as temperature control capabilities, eco-lightning and reabsorption techniques of heat and cooling supplied to facilities can save money and precious environmental resources.

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Recyclable and Sustainable Materials

Reusable, recyclable — these terms combined with a new understanding from companies about how to successfully take discarded materials and turn them into new product offerings or replace traditional resources is a prime illustration of how sustainability is moving into production practices.

One innovative big-brand company leading the way in recycled materials is Nike. The company found a way to utilize plastic bottles from landfills around the world to make soccer jerseys for the World Cup all while using 30 percent less energy than normally required.

Consumer Safety and Health

Each year, new chemical substances are introduced into the marketplace, and it is supposed that some of these may present challenges to environmental and public health. Therefore, regulations must be put in place to evaluate their impact and safety before mass release.

Consumer Safety and Health

One of the strictest and most respected authorities on chemical regulation is the European Union’s REACH.

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Understanding REACH

First implemented in 2007, REACH serves as a regulation created by the European Union, which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals placed on the market. The main aim of REACH is to protect environmental and human health while challenging companies to be innovative in the manufacturing and chemical industry.

Staying compliant with ever-changing chemical and environmental safety regulations can be overwhelming. Often, companies find that their chemical substances aren’t compliant simply because the regulations have been updated. To lessen the confusion, more and more companies such as rubber seal manufacturer Apple Rubber and others, are taking a more proactive stance by actively complying with both REACH and EPA standards for chemical substances.

This hands-on approach provides manufacturers and suppliers with a more progressive expertise in chemical regulations as well as saves companies substantial time and money by ensuring their processes are compliant for the long-term.

It’s worth noting that this process of being REACH and EPA compliant should soon become more simple to navigate as U.S. agencies recently announced plans for implementing regulations similar to those stipulated in REACH, so the procedure of evaluating and maintaining chemical compliance will look similar in both the U.S. and European countries.

Sustainable manufacturing is a dynamic process, and what it means and how it’s achieved may differ from company to company, but those who pursue the sustainability path often obtain a competitive advantage, lower production costs and increased long-term revenue.