Manufacturing Trends in 2022 – Part 3
Manufacturing Carbon Footprint
Manufacturers will need to look at how they design, source, manufacture, deliver, and service all their products. It’s a daunting proposition as the sustainability imperative continues to grow.
By building sustainable practices into processes, manufacturers can tackle their single largest sustainability obstacle while at the same time working to minimize the environmental impact and conserve resources.
Automation, AI, and Robotics
Manufacturing automation includes using advanced technology both operationally and intellectually. This includes robotics, vision, and software, to streamline and optimize production processes. It can also include the use of artificial intelligence, AI, and high-speed cameras to find errors in products, improve or speed processes, apply Six Sigma quality, or manage the HR and AI-related recruiting functions of the company. Many manufacturing companies will invest in at least one form of automation, from a single robot to a fully automated production line.
Carbon neutral does not mean carbon free. Any company and product can be carbon neutral. There are standards to calculate their emissions. But carbon-free products, services or companies are those that do not generate any carbon emissions during the manufacturing, provision or operational process. It must also apply to the entire supply chain, including all the raw materials, logistics and packaging. As a matter of fact, there are no carbon-free examples (yet) of products.
Companies can support certified carbon offset projects in order to offset the emissions calculated. Below are 3 steps to begin:
Plan: As a first step, it’s important to measure your facilities’ current carbon profile to build a baseline of your environmental footprint. Additionally, companies should also be prepared for their data to be audited, providing proof to clients as to their levels of sustainability
Execute: To carry out sustainability initiatives. New roles, such as a chief sustainability officer, may need to be developed. In turn, these leaders can help determine which sustainability metrics the company is under pressure to deliver on and prioritize investments, as well as build any new capabilities needed.
Reflect: Manufacturers can do more than simply measure the progress of their sustainability initiatives. They can also use that progress to create a clear market narrative around the positive impacts they are driving and paint a powerful picture for investors and consumers alike—all the while improving transparency.
Manufacturing Trends Part 4
Next in our manufacturing trends series – Manufacturing Trends Part 4 – we will look at attracting and retaining employees in the manufacturing industry. Diversifying the workforce will be key to building resiliency.
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