Finding Your Sustainability Balance

Finding Your Sustainability Balance

 
by Iain Crosley, Director of Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions
 
 
I recently travelled down from Scotland to the Northwest of England and then on to the Midlands. What I found most striking was seeing how the countryside turns from green to yellow to dust as I progressed south. The signs of drought and climate change are unavoidable these days. Not to mention the record temperatures recorded this summer, which were even higher than the summer of 1976.

This got me thinking about what changed in those intervening years, and how have expectations evolved. Our appetite and reliance on technology has never been greater. Think about going without a mobile phone, accessing the Internet, air conditioning, individual transportation (planes, trains, and automobiles), holidays in exotic locations, or luxury and seasonal goods available all year round. You get the picture. These are just a few examples of the “need it now” culture.

All these demands to sustain our modern way of life requires energy and massive amounts of it. So, what can be done? Not all is doom and gloom, nor I’m not proposing that we go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The climate change crisis can be remedied if we collectively act and adopt the right sustainability practices. This will require everyone needing to adjust their expectations, habits, and interactions.

At the center of any decarbonization effort the people/culture element is essential. Small changes by everyone in their personal and working lives can have a significant impact on climate change and global warming. When it comes to companies, however, there is not one magical solution that will work. It takes ongoing monitoring and reporting, a lot of analysis, the courage to challenge existing norms, an understanding of future demands, as well as applying continuous improvement practices. In other words, a holistic understanding of energy consumption across the entire manufacturing and supply chain.

For decarbonization and Net Zero goals to be achieved, companies need to develop cultures, adopt technologies, develop new products and practices that embed sustainability at the heart of the organization. To do this they need to be prepared to collaborate and have an open mindset, share experiences, and learn from others.

In the manufacturing sector people look to optimize their operations by focusing on cost, quality, and delivery but sustainability needs to be the overriding and constant goal. To make sustainability the cornerstone of manufacturing you’ll need to consider the 5Ps of Plant, People, Process, Products and Profit and add a 6th P – “Planet”. Failure to act by adopting a 7th P – “Procrastination” will ultimately lead to organizations missing their Net Zero targets and possibly facing financial penalties by not meeting ESG compliance and regulatory policies. The result is an organization struggling to remain competitive.

At XpertRule our technologies help highlight the improvements that can be made in achieving improvements in cost, quality, and delivery by optimization of the 5 Ps achieving sustainability goals and stop degradation of the 6th P, our Planet.

Avoid the 7th P, reputational damage and potential financial failures by starting the journey to Net Zero, decarbonization and sustainability today.

Here are some recent videos from “Manufacturing Xperts” on the challenges of decarbonization and what’s possible with XpertRule.

We want to help you on this journey. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out at icrosley@xpertrule.com and please be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.