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EHS in manufacturing: Incorporating into your safety protocol

You already know that safety in the manufacturing industry is vital for productivity, workforce morale and employee retention. The link between your environment, health and safety (EHS) program with your bottom line is obvious. It means that not only is it essential to keep your employees safe, but the future of your business depends on sustainability.

How does the manufacturing industry impact the environment? And, is there anything actionable your business can do today?

Effects manufacturing factories have on the environment

Manufacturers are not the main source of environmental problems, but they are big contributors. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology by the U.S. Department of Commerce, 17% of the 76% the U.S. contributes to the environmental impact comes from the manufacturing sector.

That means major improvements need to be made to put the industry on the right side of history. Knowing the factors that contribute to the problem is a first step.

Manufacturing plays an important role in how we live out our daily lives. From energy consumption to waste management, the sector contributes to global warming in many different and threatening ways.

Let’s dive into how the industry can shift to accommodate a more sustainable, and, evidently, affordable way of operating.

Smart, sustainable manufacturing

Sustainability means that measures are made to ensure operations are done with the environment and social needs in mind. That could mean anything from reducing energy use to creating efficiencies across the supply chains.

When there are efficiencies made, overhead is reduced as well. Employees are not wasting time or resources to complete the same job and therefore productivity, speed and quality are all improving at the same time. Furthermore, using data analytics and predictive resourcing, manufacturing businesses will be able to have exactly what they need without wasting money on products and services that customers aren’t interested in.

As efficiency increases and sustainable decisions are made, social pressures lessen as well. Customers are searching for more ethically-made products from environmentally-aware businesses. Now, with data analytics and measuring, enterprises can track the products and services customers are showing the most interest in and create sustainable solutions around them. For example, retail businesses have a lot of opportunities to be more environmentally stable with predictive analytics and even creating products from recycled materials or upcycling old materials.

Similarly, communicating operation methods and even automating some of the processes can help further align teams on expectations. This can even take some of the responsibility they have off their shoulders and onto an automated system. The result is clear communication and optimization.

The best way to keep all of these new systems going is to constantly assess what’s working, and noting where bottlenecks exist. Sustainability is only possible with everyone working together.

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