Sustainable manufacturers use world-class manufacturing and environmentally friendly practices to improve the profitability of their business and reduce their impact on the environment.
Your business can incorporate sustainable manufacturing practices across the manufacturing life cycle, from initial concepts to manufacturing, packaging, transporting and disposal.
Sustainable manufacturing practices
Consider whether your business can implement the following sustainable manufacturing practices:
- Become eco-efficient. Reduce or eliminate your waste, and cut your water and energy usage. Eco-efficiency involves using cleaner production and fewer resources. Once eco-efficiency is applied to your business it will become easier to roll out other sustainable manufacturing practices. Learn more about eco-efficiency for your business.
- Develop a culture of innovation. Generate a positive and proactive approach to change, with employee contributions. Train your staff in skills including communication, team-work, problem-solving and adapting to change, creativity and leadership. Learn more about innovation grants and support.
- Use sustainable design practices. Consider how your product interacts with the environment throughout its life cycle.
- Use non-finite materials. Non-finite materials can be designed or treated to have sustainable properties, including being biodegradable, recyclable or reengineered after the product's end-of-life phase.
- Encourage sustainable procurement and distribution. Use your business's buying power to encourage, stimulate and deliver improved environmental and social outcomes from suppliers and/or service providers.
- Use advanced manufacturing technologies. Increase your manufacturing efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. By adopting advanced manufacturing technologies you can capture, store and track data relating to sustainable practices. Advanced manufacturing technologies combine hardware with software interfaces and can be used as stand-alone units or integrated into the manufacturing process. The following case studies highlight the benefits of advanced manufacturing technologies:
Benefits of sustainable manufacturing
Implementing sustainable manufacturing practices can help your business access new overseas export markets, increase your manufacturing capacity by adopting new technologies, and enhance your business profile, corporate reputation and consumer perceptions.
Positive promotion for your business
Environmentally friendly products are seen to have a 'greener' profile and can enhance the image of your brand. By applying sustainable manufacturing practices to your business, your business can be promoted as making an environmental commitment.
Reduce business costs
Sustainable manufacturing will have financial benefits for your business through improved product design, enhanced competitiveness and productivity, and improved manufacturing performance and life-cycle management.
Reduce business risks
Sustainable manufacturing can help you reduce your exposure to business risks, including:
- financial and regulatory risks from public and private sector policies
- risk and liability due to proactive management of environmental aspects.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Your carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the environment from day-to-day activities such as transportation, heating, fuels and electricity from the burning of fossil fuels. Implementing sustainable manufacturing practices can help your business reduce its carbon footprint.
Increase capacity to adopt new technologies and market opportunities
Technologies are rapidly evolving to meet the needs of manufacturing businesses. New manufacturing technologies also play a significant role in increasing productivity and cost savings to resource and energy consumptions.
Support services for sustainable manufacturing
If you want to move your business towards sustainable manufacturing, a range of assistance is available.
Industry organisations provide workforce development workshops and strategies, working in conjunction with government to support your business to implement eco-efficient and environmentally friendly processes.
Workforce development strategies
QMI Solutions is a not-for-profit organisation with a range of workforce development strategies that address research, education, and implementation of sustainable practices and technologies.
- Find out how your business can cut costs and increase profit by using the ecoBiz program to measure current energy, water and waste use.
- Last updated
- 16 April 2013
General enquiries call 13 25 23 (option 3)