Seventy-one percent of manufacturing executives believe the cost of greening manufacturing is getting lower, and the potential profits higher, according to EFT Research’s Green Manufacturing: Adoption & Implementation Report.
With 77% of manufacturing executives in agreement that energy prices will rise significantly next year, the focus of operations budgets is turning sharply towards how to cut the dependence on oil. With this in mind, EFT asked respondents to pinpoint what real projects they are investing in, what the challenges and barriers have been, and where they are seeing an ROI.
The vast majority of respondents, 95%, agree that green manufacturing will continue to expand. Furthermore, 66% believe there to be a market for more expensive and greener products in their industry. And it’s not just the increased profits that are driving green initiatives – 43% of respondents report that environmental imperatives have resulted in improved efficiency and product quality for their operation.
So what are they doing to achieve these encouragingly positive results? The most popular choice, that of 65% of respondents, was investing in recycling and reuse programs. Additionally water reduction programs (58%), continuous improvement (54%), energy management (50%), environmental management (46%), materials management (36%), establishing a corporate green team (33%), and supplier management (32%) are all reported to be making manufacturing leaner, greener and more profitable.
According to the survey, 64% of executives expect green initiatives to further their overall corporate sustainability startegy and vision, 62% see green initiatives as a good response to customer interest in environmentally friendly products and services, and 51% feel they are improving their public reputation. On the operations side, 52% noted cost reduction as a key benefit, and 47% saw improved efficiency.