Sustainability has become more important in various aspects of industries. Sustainability in manufacturing is especially important, with more demands from the public, investors, and stakeholders toward companies to apply sustainable methods. A 2021 study published on Oxford Economics even stated that 65 percent of companies they had studied have created mission statements in sustainability.
Reasons Demands for Sustainability Are Rising
Sustainability issues in manufacturing are becoming more important. In the metal industry alone, companies produce more than 3 billion tons of metal products every year. Demands for metal and other manufactured products will increase in the coming years because of the rising demands.
There are also more pressing issues of environmental impact, especially emission. Some products like minerals and metals produce high amounts of emissions during manufacturing or production process, compared to other commodities. This is why sustainability in manufacturing is vital in ensuring reduced environmental impact.
Principles of Sustainability in Manufacturing
How do companies create sustainable manufacturing?
There are several major principles companies must use as a standard for creating sustainable manufacturing programs. They are:
- Better Energy Efficiency
Manufacturing process requires a huge amount of energy to power the activities, machines, and equipment. Companies can start sustainability programs in manufacturing by using alternative energy sources, developing new systems or technology that can save energy, or modifying workers’ behaviors to reduce energy consumption.
- Optimization during Production Process
Optimization means increasing the performance quality while reducing energy usage. It could mean reinventing the strategy, using new tools or equipment, or evaluating the production method.
- Waste Management
Sustainability in manufacturing requires proper waste management. Companies should focus on strategies to reduce waste, which decrease the negative impacts toward the environment without disrupting productivity. However, waste reduction is not the only management strategy companies can do.
In the case of kaolin production, companies can invest in reuse or recycling, using waste as a means to create new products. For example, a 2021 study published in Sustainability journal proposed methods to use kaolin waste as a material to create eco-friendly mortars.
- Applying Industrial Symbiosis
Industrial symbiosis is a recent principle in sustainability in manufacturing. It utilizes discarded materials to be used on different stages of the production process. This way, manufacturing companies can create a sustainable cycle that reduces waste without compromising results or quantities.
How to Push Sustainability Issues in Manufacturing
Engaging in sustainability issues can be time-consuming and costly, especially if the programs require a lot of financial backups. Applying sustainability in manufacturing can also be internal challenges because of the substantial changes that must be applied.
Here are several major efforts companies can push to apply sustainability in all aspects of manufacturing:
- Treat Sustainability as Major, Vital Issue
When addressing sustainability issues, companies should not treat them as afterthoughts or secondary concerns. Make sustainability into an urgent, formal issue, and deliver it in a coordinated manner. Create a detailed proposal to help convince stakeholders that sustainability has long-term benefits for the business.
- Focus on Revenues and Competitive Values
Sustainability issues can be connected to efficiency in cost and production. However, to better convince stakeholders and investors, companies need to go beyond those goals. Make sure to connect sustainability in manufacturing with profits, revenues, and competition.
In the proposal, emphasize the fact that sustainability can help companies in creating better products with the least impacts. This, in turn, will create better long-term reputation and trust from the public, which will increase the company value.
- Apply Sustainability Issues on Various Business Functions
While manufacturing is a vital function of a business, it does not stand alone. Therefore, when proposing sustainability plans, companies should also apply them to other business functions. For example, aside from sustainable manufacturing, businesses should include efforts in logistics, supply chain, distribution, packaging, and finance.
- Going Beyond Compliance
While compliance toward environmental regulations is a way to pursue sustainability goals, companies can do more than that for better results. Going beyond compliance means companies can exceed future sustainability goals, which create positive effects on the environment.
- Work with Public and Government Sectors
Sustainability in manufacturing is a concept that requires collaborations if companies want to be fully involved in it. Companies must work with the public and the government through various methods to promote, utilize, and campaign for sustainability issues. This includes doing strategies such as investing in sustainability funding, releasing regular public reports, working with local communities and organizations in CSR programs, and such.
Sustainability issues have become priorities in many companies, including those that require kaolin as an important mineral in its productions. If you are interested in kaolin investment, make sure you check the sustainability policy of a company before you collaborate.
Contact Yukami, an Indonesia-based kaolin supplier with decades of experience, as your supplier for the new era of sustainable business. Providing industrial-grade kaolin powder, noodles, and lumps for global companies, Yukami is your solution to start investing in kaolin supplying for sustainable companies.
Sustainability in manufacturing has become the new normal policy for companies. Make sure to partner with sustainable manufacturing companies for the best collaboration in your kaolin business.