News / 03.29.2022

Sustainability in Manufacturing: Trends to Watch

Sustainability in Manufacturing: Trends to Watch - Image

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics are becoming increasingly important to companies everywhere. Investors consider ESG scores as part of their decision-making process, driving stock prices up or down based on these metrics. To deliver good performance in the “environmental” category, manufacturing companies need to adopt a full sustainability strategy that goes beyond recycling. 

We’ve seen a really exciting wave of innovation in sustainability for the industrial sector. Here are a few trends to watch or consider adopting in your operation to advance your sustainability results.

Energy-Efficient Equipment

Machine tool builders are offering more and more options that are engineered for both power and energy efficiency. Canada and Japan both offer rebates to manufacturers that purchase equipment with energy-saving features. 

We’re not suggesting that you throw out your existing equipment in favor of a whole arrangement of new machines—that’s not feasible in terms of budget, and it’s not a “green” approach! However, it is worth considering energy-efficient alternatives when it’s time to decommission a piece of your current machinery.

Factory Energy Management Systems (FEMS)

A factory energy management system (FEMS) collects energy data from a variety of sources within your facility’s infrastructure. Using IoT technology, a FEMS can monitor the consumption of energy from your equipment and bring the data together in a dashboard for easy monitoring. One example of how a FEMS can help you optimize your energy use is by alerting you to adjust the voltage used by your equipment. 

Ultimately, a FEMS can help you save money while also reducing your carbon footprint. It can also help you stay in compliance with current and future environmental regulations.

Fluid Recovery

Fluid recovery services help reclaim a portion of cutting fluid used for machining, stamping, and other metalworking processes. Improper or illegal metalworking fluid disposal could potentially also pose environmental hazards, adding to the negative consequences of fluid loss. End-to-end fluid recovery services can capture, treat, and reuse cutting fluid to offset the cost of cutting fluid replenishment and disposal.

A Shift to a Circular Economy

Creating a circular economy or a closed-loop supply chain is a great way to move toward carbon neutrality. There are four elements to creating a circular economy: reduce, refurbish/reuse, recycle, and recover.

There are many ways to make the move toward a closed-loop system, and each manufacturing operation is unique. Reducing packaging, reshoring or nearshoring overseas operations, implementing fluid recovery, and recycling metals and other materials are just a few ways industrial companies can make an impact.

Building a Sustainability Strategy: How to Get Started

Figuring out ESG reporting and achieving success isn’t easy. Because there aren’t concrete standards yet, it can be difficult to decide what your organization should focus on and which metrics you need to measure. And with so many innovations around sustainability in the marketplace, it’s impossible to consider everything and focus on other priorities. 

You can break out of this analysis paralysis when you work with us. We’ll listen first and advise you on what to focus on in your operations for the greatest impact, and then provide you the data you need to back it all up—without wading through endless spreadsheets. Our partnership allows you to capitalize on the latest innovation in sustainability without taxing your time, so that you can stay focused on other priorities.

Are you ready to take the next step toward carbon neutrality in your business? We want to work with you to make the planet better together. Connect with a Shapiro rep today to start a conversation.