Green Manufacturing Can Help 'Move Business Forward'

Green Manufacturing Can Help 'Move Business Forward'

Manufacturers increasingly see green initiatives as a way to move business forward through cost savings, improved efficiency and reputation boost, according to a new survey.

Eyefortransport (EFT) turned to 300 North American executives overseeing manufacturing, operations and supply chains to gauge adoption and perception of green efforts. The results showed a majority see the price barrier to green manufacturing shrinking and a view that environmentally friendly practices can be successfully combined with traditional business practices.

"When asked how they view green manufacturing initiatives, 84 percent told us that they see them as part of an overall optimization strategy," said Katharine O'Reilly, EFT's senior vice president of environmental research. "This marks a major sea change, and implies that environmental programs are becoming part of the standard arsenal of strategies employed to boost innovation and optimize operations."

Ninety-five percent of respondents in the "Green Manufacturing: Adoption & Implementation 2008" said green manufacturing will increase and expand. Two-thirds believe in the existence of markets for greener, more expensive products. Leading drivers toward greener operations include the contribution to sustainability strategies, response to consumer interest and improving reputation.

Forty-three percent said eco-initiatives improved their bottom lines through better product quality and increased efficiency. Most -- 65 percent -- turned to recycling and reuse programs, followed by water reduction programs (58 percent), continuous improvement (54 percent) and energy management (50 percent).