Business Case for Sustainable Manufacturing

A growing number of companies are treating “sustainability” as an important objective in their strategy and operations to increase growth and global competitiveness. This trend has reached well beyond the small niche of those who traditionally positioned themselves as “green,” and now includes many prominent businesses across many different industry sectors. In many cases, these efforts are having significant results.

Sustainable manufacturing helps companies to save money, enhance competitiveness, and reduce environmental, health, and safety impacts. According to a recent survey, two-thirds of nearly 3,000 company officials surveyed responded that “sustainability was critically important to being competitive in today’s marketplace."[ 1 ] In addition, as an indication of company sustainability initiatives and stakeholder interest, 93 of the S&P 100 companies reported sustainability information on their websites in 2008.[ 2 ]

There a number of reasons why companies are pursuing sustainability:

  • Increase operational efficiency by reducing costs and waste
  • Respond to or reach new customers and increase competitive advantage
  • Protect and strengthen brand and reputation and build public trust
  • Build long-term business viability and success
  • Respond to regulatory constraints and opportunities

To learn more about the business case for sustainable manufacturing, view the Department of Commerce’s detailed presentation on the Business Case for Sustainable Manufacturing. This presentation describes the benefits of sustainable manufacturing as well as some of the challenges, and provides numerous examples.

KEY BENEFITS FROM
SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING

  • Lower Resource and Production Costs
  • Lower Regulatory Compliance Costs
  • Improved Sales and Brand Recognition
  • Greater Access to Financing and Capital
  • Easier Employee Hiring and Retention
  • Address sustainability in a coordinated, integrated, and formal manner, rather than in an ad hoc, unconnected, and informal manner
  • Focus on increased competitiveness and revenues rather than primarily focusing on cost-cutting, risk reduction, and improved efficiency
  • Use innovation, scenario planning, and strategic analysis to go beyond compliance
  • Integrate sustainability across business functions
  • Focus more on the longer-term
  • Work collaboratively with external stakeholders

To learn more about the business case for sustainable manufacturing, view the Department of Commerce’s detailed presentation on the Business Case for Sustainable Manufacturing. This presentation describes the benefits of sustainable manufacturing as well as some of the challenges, and provides numerous examples.


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