Green Factories: Sustainable Packaging, Packages, and Production
03 Feb

Can’t All Factories Go Green?

In this day and age, there’s a lot of talk about “going green.” While more and more businesses are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints and implement more sustainable practices, it’s often easier said than done. 

Making these changes can require costly upgrades but, despite the upfront expenses, they lead to a healthier planet and many times, lower operating bills in the future.

All factories can go green – they simply have to take the steps to get there. Here are 4 ways to start the transition.

1. “Going green” requires a commitment to reducing waste.

It should come as no surprise that the first step to “going green” is cutting back on waste. This can happen in a number of different forms:

  • Excess materials for manufacturing should be identified and replaced with greener, recyclable options.
  • As more and more materials become biodegradable, it’s imperative that more companies begin to use them. 
  • Alternatively, “rapid renewable” materials should be implemented in the manufacturing process. 

Ideally, all of these things should play a role in moving to a greener manufacturing process.

2. Recycling is key.

Recycling goes hand-in-hand with reducing waste. If something is typically thrown out, the best alternative is to find recyclable replacements. Beyond that, however, creating a culture of recycling boils down to every item within a facility:

  • All paper products should be recycled, not thrown in the trash.
  • Plastics should be collected and sorted from other waste.
  • Compostable items should have a designated spot – both on the manufacturing or assembly line, if applicable, and in employee break areas or anywhere else that might see natural items.
  • Single-use items, like paper towels, should be avoided when possible.

Company-wide recycling requires a community effort; everyone must take responsibility and be involved. It’s important to stress to everyone how recycling is making an impact for both the company as a whole and for the environment.

3. Manufacturing machinery needs serious tune-ups.

Times change and so does technology. As better, more energy-efficient and waste-reducing machines become available, it’s time to put old workhorses to rest once and for all. 

New machinery setups have the capabilities to reuse water, require less energy to operate and utilize more of the materials used in the manufacturing process which ultimately leads to reduced waste.

4. Organizations must make changes to their facilities.

Going green requires a lot of conscious effort – there’s no doubt about it. One major way facilities can become more eco-friendly is by making changes to their warehouses and physical environments.

Lighting and Energy Usage

It’s becoming increasingly more common for private homes and businesses to opt for greener lighting. From energy-efficient bulbs to solar-fueled choices, these changes are not only helping preserve the planet, but they can also lead to significant long-term savings.

It’s also important to be aware of how much energy is being misused to keep lights on longer than needed. Timers and motion sensing tools are helpful in reducing light pollution and energy inefficiency.

Heating and Cooling

Temperatures can be challenging to maintain in large buildings. As such, it’s not uncommon for companies to run their heating and cooling systems in excess. 

It’s vital to choose systems that can handle fluctuating temperatures. Zoning and ductless systems can be both energy-efficient and cut down on future expenses.

“Going green” equates to a company “lifestyle change.” It can’t and doesn’t happen overnight and can only come about through conscious effort from business leadership and staff alike. 

It’s true: Green production is possible for all factories – one step at a time.