Manufacturing can produce high wastage of materials, time, labour and energy making it harmful to the environment. By making the manufacturing process of your product greener, you will end up with reduced carbon dioxide emissions and costs. Here are 5 tips on making your product manufacturing process greener:
1. Reduce wastage
Your product usage and function will dictate the materials you can choose from to make your product and determine the manufacturing process you need to use. However, it is advisable to choose where possible materials and processes that produce the least waste whilst keeping your costs down. The lower material quantities needed the less wastage there will be to end up in landfill. If possible it would be advisable to choose a material where the waste material can be reused either by melting down or for using in another product. For example, if you use a thermoplastic for your product then any leftover plastic can be melted down to become something else.
2. Reduce product parts
Reducing the number of parts involved in your product reduces your manufacturing carbon dioxide output because you not only need less adhesive (or none), less manufacturing time but you also reduce:
- The number of moulds required. If your manufacturing process, such as plastic injection moulding, involves moulds then the production of these moulds is not only very costly but is environmentally unfriendly. The creation of these moulds requires a very large energy input to melt the metals to form the moulds. The moulds have to be made from very strong metal to ensure they can withstand the forces experienced during the manufacturing process. Therefore, the fewer moulds the less energy needed. You will also make a considerable cost saving if you reduce the number of moulds.
- Quantity of materials. The less material needed to create your product the less wastage that will occur.
- Quicker production time means less time needed for the machines to be running for.
3. Stay in house where you can
The costs may be higher but sourcing every part of your product with the same company in-house, preferably in the same country as yourself will reduce your product’s air miles and therefore carbon footprint.
4. Don’t over order
Over-ordering not only means you produce more products then you need but you have also used more resources. The over-use of electricity, materials and labour not only increases your manufacturing costs but causes unnecessary carbon emissions and product waste unless your product can be reused.
5. Choose recyclable or biodegradable materials
Choosing materials that can either be recycled or are biodegradable is a great way of reducing the environmental impact your product has. It also gives your product a good USP to other competing products. If you over-order your product and it can no longer be sold you can recycle your product to turn into another product.
Therefore, when you design and manufacture your product(s) the main thing to consider keeping your product carbon emissions down to a minimum is to avoid producing too many products made from too many parts and to use green materials that are either biodegradable or recyclable.