Sustainable manufacturing is about doing more with less. It has become a business imperative as companies grapple with rising raw material and energy costs, along with stringent regulations. While manufacturing has traditionally been associated with environmental degradation, there is now a collective consciousness to spur green growth and craft stimulus packages for a sustainable future.
With this in mind, the International Manufacturing Research Institute (IRIM) organized its prestigious India Green Manufacturing Challenge Awards (IGMC) to recognize companies committed to improving the sustainability factors associated with their manufacturing facilities.
Speaking about the biggest trend in manufacturing right now, Anand Louie, Director of IRIM, said: “The most critical aspect of manufacturing right now is the realization that all the waste created from the manufacturing are the biggest responsibility. Most factories today aim to achieve zero waste; zero liquid discharge has become a hygiene factor … and we have seen a substantial reduction in the creation of waste.
Rewarding champions of green growth
HUL, Hindustan Coca-Cola, Sun Pharma, UPL, JSW, Borosil, Schneider, etc., won the IGMC Awards 2020-21 for their distinguished efforts in improving manufacturing processes and contributing to green growth and sustainability. sustainable development. All participants were assessed on a 4-step green manufacturing framework.
Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd plant in Hyderabad has been recognized as a pioneer in digital transformation by integrating world leading energy technologies and processes to realize sustainable opportunities for their customers.
Nitin Bakshi, Vice President of Global Supply Chain, India Operations, said, “This award demonstrates Schneider Electric’s commitment to sustainability and product safety.
Meanwhile, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries’ Ahmednagar and Toansa units have invested in environmentally friendly options through projects such as zero liquid discharge and many more.
Anil Kumar Jain, CEO of Global API Business, Sun Pharma said, “We are concerned and aware of our environment and our precious natural resources. “
Green growth: more important than ever
Sustainability has become more urgent, especially after the recent IPCC climate change report. Business leaders must adhere to good environmental practices and make decisions related to the health of the planet. With this in mind, employees and customers are forcing companies to adopt green practices, pushing them to adopt sustainable policies. In its report, the World Economic Forum mentions that “businesses have the potential to dramatically accelerate the transition to a nature-positive economy and to collaborate in advocating, designing and enacting the policy reforms necessary to protect, restore and sustainably manage nature ”.
To avoid the looming danger of climate change and, as more customers become environmentally conscious, most companies have joined in discussions on conservation and sustainable manufacturing methods to reduce waste and maximize l resource efficiency. Other drivers of sustainable manufacturing include: ● Competition from companies that promote sustainability practices.
● Green brand and reputation of the company.
● Environmental pressure from regulators and stakeholders.
● Increasing customer awareness.
● Economic advantages and market competitiveness.
That said, green manufacturing isn’t just about reducing waste. It is about implementing sustainability throughout the value chain to help reduce energy and resource consumption, waste by-products and water consumption. Green manufacturing ultimately strives to eliminate environmental waste and promotes the earth’s self-recovery by: ● Reducing pollutant emissions
● Reduce energy consumption
● Use of environmentally friendly or biodegradable materials
● Collection and recycling of old products for waste reduction
For example, the UPL Ltd units in Vapi and Ankleshwar, which won IGMC awards, reduced their environmental footprint and developed innovative product solutions. “In our journey towards sustainability, we have achieved a 20% reduction in our ecological footprint over the past three years thanks to our various measures. We continue to achieve our goal of reducing the ecological footprint by a further 20% in the years to come, ”said Vikas Garg, Manufacturing Head-AI India, UPL Ltd.
Stimulate innovation with gender diversity
Many manufacturing companies are gradually realizing the importance of gender diversity in a stereotypical male dominated industry. Many welding contests and championships, such as the National Welding Competition, are held to assess the capabilities of women in this field and create an inclusive manufacturing community.
Companies like Continental Hindustan Zinc (HZL), Sun Life Asia Service Center (ASC) are shaking up the blue collar ecosystem by hiring more women in a wide range of entry and leadership positions. In particular, factories like Ashok Leyland and GE have started employing female welders, as women unlock unconventional career paths and learn new skills.
Green manufacturing: trends to watch
Manufacturing today is about embracing next-generation solutions to make supply chains smarter, faster, more customer-centric and more sustainable. From the increasing integration of digital transformation technologies and big data, to the promotion of agile supply chains to the increasing adoption of green production, sustainable manufacturing in India is on the way to being revamped to become compliant. environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
Here are the three main trends:
1. Digital transformation technologies
Most manufacturing plants replace their production line with modern, energy-efficient machines. These machines are powerful and high-quality equipment that significantly reduce unnecessary waste. In addition to these investments, companies are also investing in digital transformation technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to be innovative and ESG compliant.
These technologies not only increase supply chain efficiency, but also allow manufacturers to accurately forecast opportunities and risks, assess hardware issues, and streamline ESG data to create and publish reports on time. timely. Supported by innovative technologies, companies are also automating manual tasks to get work done at unimaginable speeds, improve transparency, facilitate access, and bring sustainability in real time.
2. Adopt the circular economy
As customers and businesses become more aware of environmental concerns, sustainable manufacturing must be embraced at all levels, from product to process and system. The 3R principle of manufacturing, reducing, reusing and recycling is not enough for a circular economy. It needs to be extended to include more Rs like recover, discard, remanufacture, redesign, reuse, etc.
Much of this trend is due to growing pressure from government and regulators to minimize the use of single-use plastics. The circular economy is therefore not only a question of sustainability, but also of generating profits and attracting more investment. It enables manufacturers to conserve resources, reduce costs, optimize processes and promote company values.
3. Sustainable logistics
Transport has a huge role to play in managing supply chains. Whether purchasing raw materials or shipping finished products to suppliers, transportation is a major source of CO2 emissions. It affects the bottom line if companies do not comply with government regulations.
To reduce transport mileage, manufacturers are considering using local suppliers and optimizing shipping containers. Digital transformation technologies are also helping here determine the best fuel-efficient shipping method and monitor vehicle maintenance levels.
Sustainable manufacturing is not a fad but a reality of the world we live in. There are many areas of manufacturing that can benefit from greener practices, including the use of recyclable materials, value for money, and waste reduction.
Green manufacturing is a step towards reclaiming the earth and building a manufacturing unit that is agile and designed for the future.
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