Introduction – Green Manufacturing
Green Manufacturing plays a very strategic role in an organization, especially to build a competitive advantage and improve performance. With rapid changes in technology, customer needs, and globalization, manufacturing itself is constantly transforming and evolving. The beginning of the century saw the automobile industry introduce the mass production techniques which revolutionized manufacturing processes. Over the years the need for meeting individualistic customer demands without compromising productivity or quality brought about the introduction of flexible and mass customization techniques.
- Mass production
- Flexible manufacturing
- Mass customization.
- Green manufacturing.
Now focus is on GREEN MANUFACTURING.
This concept itself is not new. The concept has been around for a couple of decades, but has never received much attention from manufacturers except for participation in seminars and scoring well in polls and surveys.
Green manufacturing is also known by a plethora of different names: Clean manufacturing, environmentally conscious manufacturing, environmentally responsible manufacturing, and sustainable manufacturing. Irrespective of the various acronyms, the primary goal remains the same-designing and delivering products that minimize negative effects on the environment through their production, use, and disposal.
One of the main challenges in studying green manufacturing is the definition of terms. And one of the toughest terms to define is “sustainability”. Green is considered a subset of sustainability. The term “sustainable” is heavily used, and mostly misused, today.
There are tremendous opportunities that will arise with Green manufacturing. Each element of this cycle has the potential to be an industry by itself, given the rapid growth rate and demand it is expected to generate in the mid to long term. Although it is very difficult to estimate the market size for green manufacturing, industry experts feel this would be very significant in the coming decade. As a government, companies, and consumers realize the importance of going green the barriers for investment in these technologies are expected to fall rapidly.
Tips for Green Manufacturing
It has gone from being a trend to a permanent fixture in the world of manufacturing. More and more companies are seeing the benefits of using green manufacturing and are using it to claim an even bigger piece of the market. Those few manufacturing companies that have not begun using green measures into their production process. While this may seem daunting there are tips that make the entire process smoother and easier to implement. Here are some tips for setting up green manufacturing-
(1)Determine why it is important to your business –Manufacturers who are the most successful with green manufacturing are that way because of the reasons they choose to implement it. You need to determine what your goals are then formulated your green manufacturing plan around them.
(2)Have a plan-Just like anything else within your business you need to have a plan as to how you are going to implement green manufacturing processes and then measure their effectiveness. Taking the time to do sufficient research is crucial. It can also be helpful to contact other manufacturing businesses that have successfully implemented green manufacturing.
(3)Have someone who is accountable-it is simply not enough to implement green manufacturing processes and then hope for the best. You need to have someone who is in charge of all green measures. The bottom line is that if someone is in charge of all green manufacturing then it is far more likely that it will be successful.
(4)Communicate your progress-Part of whether or not your green manufacturing will be successful will be in large part as to how well you communicate your progress. The bottom line is that when your customers, involved with your business knowledge and understand how well your green manufacturing is going they are far more likely to get behind it.
(5)Work on your supply chain-When green manufacturing becomes a priority you should communicate that to your suppliers. Once your suppliers know that you are looking for materials that fit certain green measurements they are far more likely to scramble to keep your business.
(6)Remember that this can be done a step at a time-Many manufacturing business owners feel that “going green” is simply too overwhelming and time-consuming so they pass on this effort. Things like setting up recycling stations for improving your energy efficiency are all steps in the right direction to implementing a full program of green manufacturing.
There are many drivers which are expanding the boundaries for green manufacturing. Frost&Sullivan recently conducted a survey among senior industry leaders to find some of the drivers for going green. A growing number of executives today feel that going green will help them to compete more effectively in the market place in the long term.
In summary, the major drivers can be grouped into three key areas:
(2)Corporate Social Responsibility
Saving the planet with green manufacturing
More companies are taking the initiative to go green and reduce their impact on the environment. This is a great way to gain positive publicity for your company but more than that it’s a cost-effective way to make sure your employees and your overall company are healthier.
The leap into this will follow with the fundamental change in the way companies design, procure, manufacture, distribute, dispose, and recycle their products. But industry by itself cannot bring about this change. Government has to play a very important role in creating the right environment in which adopters of green manufacturing do not lose a competitive edge in short term.