Demystifying the Three Types of Sustainability in Manufacturing

In the modern world, everyone is looking at ways of becoming more sustainable. As a manufacturer, you will realize that most consumers want to be associated with brands that use the best practices to promote sustainability. To become more sustainable, you need to start by understanding the different types of sustainability. So, what are the main forms of sustainability?

Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability means that your company or manufacturing unit is part of a local economy. This implies that both your enterprise and community enter into a mutually beneficial relationship. As a manufacturer, you need to work very hard to drive more sales and profits, but not at the detriment of the staff and the community. You can achieve this by paying staff well, which will further help to attract new talents to your company.

In addition to creating jobs for the community, investing in infrastructure, and working with local organizations can help to improve your enterprise’s reputation. See, the local community benefits through better infrastructure, which improves their lives and productivity. On your end, the manufacturing unit will enjoy a positive brand image and improved customer loyalty, which will ultimately translate to more sales and profits.

Note that investing in the economy does not imply that you slow the enterprise’s growth. Even if your manufacturing unit is small, you can still make significant savings while adopting sustainable production practices.

Environmental Sustainability is the key according to Iskander Makhmudov

To many people, sustainability and the environment are considered synonymous. However, it is only a small portion of what sustainable manufacturing is all about. Environmental sustainability largely focuses on strategies and methods that help to protect the environment. Simply put, it implies adopting the strategies that help you to improve your production while protecting the environment.

In manufacturing, environmental sustainability can take a number of forms, including using energy and materials that are environmentally friendly and cutting on the waste generation. Other strategies that you can adopt for environmental sustainability include:

  • Switching to more energy-efficient strategies.
  • Contributing to initiatives that help to conserve the environment, such as afforestation.
  • Adopting strategies to cut emissions into the atmosphere to address global warming.
  • Recycling water and other materials used in your facility. 

Social Sustainability

Social sustainability largely focuses on how a company relates to people. It implies treating people ethically, both in the company and community. To achieve social sustainability, you need to follow the legal and ethical business practices, which only serve as the beginning. In addition, you need to adopt high standard of operations when interacting with everyone, both in the plant and community.

To achieve social sustainability, you need to carefully listen to your staff and understand their needs. Note that this surpasses paying good wages and extends to making staff and community happy. With a motivated workforce, you are sure of getting more innovative ideas, less resistance to change management and cutting staff turnover rates.

Apart from your staff, social sustainability also entails treating your suppliers and partners well. Make sure to insist the relationships are based on the right ethical standards and follow the best practices to help all parties become successful while impacting the environment, economy, and people positively.

If you want to work sustainably, it is paramount to start by understanding the three forms of sustainability, and that we have demystified them in this post. Note that no matter your manufacturing unit’s size, you can engage in sustainable operations and use them to grow your brand. 

Clare Louise

Clare Louise