When most people think of conveyors and material handling systems, they imagine the stereotypical redundant mechanical processes that manufacturers employ to produce and sort products. The thought of manufacturers becoming more eco-friendly conjures up ideas of major changes in the manufacturing process that will be very costly and lead to inefficiencies. In some cases, that may be true in the short term, however, going green in the long term usually results in significant savings and additional revenue streams.
The Bottom-line Appeal of Sustainability
According to a study published by Kate O’Sullivan, the green movement is quickly becoming the domain of finance executives instead of a few passionate tree-hugging do-gooders. She credits the elevated status of sustainability in corporate America to the “bottom-line appeal” of going green. She points out that some companies see the green movement as much more than just a trend. A textbook example of a company that considers eco-friendliness as a founding principle is At Method, a 100 million dollar company that manufactures household cleaning supplies. Listed below are five ways manufacturers like At Method benefit from going green.
1. Reduced Manufacturing Expenses
Since most green initiatives in manufacturing have a focus on reducing energy consumption, which includes the adoption of efficient energy technologies and the transition to energy sources that are renewable, the long term result is a reduction in expenses. Energy consumption accounts for a huge portion of manufacturing costs and therefore, when energy consumption is reduced, manufacturing expenses are in turn reduced as well. Many financial experts consider this to be one of the biggest financial benefits of going green.
2. Tax Incentives
State and federal governments are continually adding and expanding tax incentives, credits, and grant programs in an effort to entice manufacturers and reward them for implementing green initiatives. Some of these incentives and credits are crafted to encourage the use of renewable energy sources to maintain manufacturing operations. While tax incentives should not be a primary motivation for businesses to become more responsible, it is certainly a benefit that needs to be seriously considered.
3. Turning Waste Into Profits
In the past, manufacturers allotted much of their resources and budget in managing and disposing of the waste created in the manufacturing process. Green initiatives have the ability to greatly reduce expenses and even generate new revenue through recycling and by the creation of new byproducts generated from waste materials. New byproducts can generate new forms of revenue for businesses.
4. Greater Loyalty From Educated Consumers
Consumers are significantly more informed about the negative effects of manufacturing processes on the environment than they were a few short decades ago. Because of this, many are becoming very concerned about and involved in causes that will promote sustainability. This growing segment of society is very loyal to environmentally friendly manufacturers. Market demand results in greater sales for those with a strong green agenda and a good marketing team that knows how to leverage the initiatives with the PR initiatives of the company.
5. Greater Sales From Green Products
In addition to being loyal to manufacturers with sustainable manufacturing processes that are eco-friendly, informed consumers are always very interested in purchasing green products. For this reason, businesses that introduce and promote green products and services that show respect and concern for the environment we live in, will find a very passionate segment of society that will be very interested in the products and services being sold.
Move Over Windex
Because sustainability now makes financial sense, chemical heavy mainstream products such as Windex and Clorox are now finding eco-friendly products competing with them. Companies like At Method are enjoying the five benefits listed above while making a profound change in how products such as cleaning products are made. Going green is no longer just the right thing to do, but it is also a very profitable thing to do as well.