Key Cost and Efficiency Drivers
Whichever way sustainability initiatives are organized and eployed in an organization,
the sustainability policies, codes of conduct, and goals manufacturing companies
have adopted show an emphasis on energy
efficiency and reduction as the top criteria
(85%), followed by the regulatory requirement for the safe disposal and reclaiming of
hazardous materials (79%), and the reduction of waste (74%) (Chart 3).
This emphasis on better use of resources
is also reflected in what companies regard
as the key drivers for their corporate sustainability initiatives. Respondents identified reductions in costs (71%), and increases in efficiency (68%) as the top two
motivations for embracing sustainable
practices (Chart 4). Interestingly, the third
most significant motivation selected was to
promote a “Cleaner, Healthier Environment”. While not easy to quantify in the
same cost or resource terms as the first two
drivers, this is perhaps a powerful indication that the concept of a broader-scale
sustainable outcome is already becoming
embedded in manufacturing industry corporate cultures and values.
Across multiple functions of the nterprise, many companies be- lieve that they’ve already made
significant strides in sustainability improvements to their operations, most no-ticeably in manufacturing and production
(indicated by 85% of respondents), product design and development (65%), and
to some extent in the supply chain (59%)
(Chart 5). There’s still clear room for im-
provement, however, in areas such as part-
ner compliance (38%), and especially in
transportation and logistics (only 6%).
Taking a deeper dive into manufacturing
and production activities, respondents again
highlighted resource efficiencies and cost reduction as their primary sustainability goals.
Less materials waste during the manufacturing process (88%), reduced energy consumption (74%), and more efficient use of raw
materials (59%), dominated the responses
as the top sustainability goals for manufacturing (Chart 6). Almost a third (32%) also
reported that the use of renewable energy
sources was now included as a stated goal for
their manufacturing sustainability efforts.
As renewable energy becomes more available and cost-effective, it will be interesting
to see how this figure changes over time.
In product design and development activities, meanwhile, more attention then
ever is being paid to what happens to products, and the materials used to make them,
at end-of-life (Chart 7). Over half the respondents (59%) say their companies already have formal design criteria covering
the recycling of all or some materials when
their products have fulfilled their usefulness. Key design approaches that also allow the easy disassembly and recovery of
various materials from these used products
(41%), and the reuse of some components
(38%), potentially in either refurbishment
or remanufacturing, also seem to be gaining design philosophy traction.
The Impact of Manufacturing 4.0
But perhaps most promising of all for the future of manu- facturing sustainability is the
likely impact of the new wave of digital
Manufacturing 4.0 technologies now being deployed across the industry. Digital
technologies, such as industrial Io T and
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A large num-
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over the next
Survey/ The Growing Value of Manufacturing Sustainability /5/8