Why is the production of eco-friendly products important?

Many people are aware of the growing need for more sustainable products throughout the world to help protect the environment. However, not as many are as enlightened about the production process of these items and why an environmentally aware creation process is necessary.

Learn more about the importance of eco-conscious production as well as the benefits that such changes are likely to bring in both the short and long term. 

How will the change from standard to sustainable production processes occur?

An immediate difference between environmentally aware processes and traditional, less planet-focused procedures is the importance placed on energy efficiency, throughout the entire manufacturing process as well as in the creation of the goods. 

This means choosing everything from light bulbs to fuel sources as well as packaging and promotion in a way that is sustainable. Companies can begin this process slowly or make an organisational shift to this way of operating – however the process happens, it'll likely be a significant change of focus for manufacturing across the globe. 

Recent research from Arup, a global consulting engineers firm, and the University of Worcester in the UK suggests the "the required shift in industrial practices is potentially as significant as the Industrial Revolution", highlighting how radical the change in perspective and practice such a switch in manufacturing needs.

What immediate impact is likely from changing to green manufacturing practices?

By switching how energy is used to create environmentally friendly promotional products and other similar items, businesses can expect to see reductions in power bills from the offset. Energy efficient light bulbs, avoiding electricity stand-by modes for equipment and effective waste management methods are just some of the practices that can help to cut costs straightaway.

An example of this in the Australian business world is the NSW Sustainability Advantage initiative, which sees the promotion of eco-friendly production processes across the region and has helped more than 500 companies to reap combined financial rewards of $79 million a year by following greener production policies.

As well as this, putting sustainable business practices at the forefront of operations can also lead to a renewed brand for your company, changing the way people view the products you make and your corporate ethos in a different, more positive way, which could lead to wider access to markets and consumer bases too.

What will the long-term benefits be?

While the commercial impact can be seen almost straightaway, other benefits of making the switch to a sustainable way of making reusable shopping bags and other products may take longer to unfold. This includes the primary purpose, protecting the environment, which can take longer to show real changes in air quality and related environmental factors. 

As well as this, making manufacturing greener is also likely to lead to less reliance on nonrenewable energy sources – according to the International Energy Agency "fossil fuels remain the dominant energy sources", showing how important it is to act now and reduce this level of dependency for a healthier, more sustainable environment.

However, the research states that the combined global reliance on oil, gas and coal is likely to drop from 81 to 75 per cent by 2035. This could be helped by an increasing number of organisations choosing to create goods in a green and sustainable way, including using renewable energy sources to fuel operations.

Hopefully this guide to environmentally aware production processes has inspired your company to extend or embrace this area of organisational operations, helping to cut costs, improve brand image as well as save the planet.