The consumer market today is focusing on greener products. The millennial generation is strongly interested in sustainability. Environmental concerns have sparked many advances in technology; still, a number of issues remain. In particular, production methods need improvement. One of the main sources of pollution is factories. As long as they don't become eco-friendly, there is no hope of any relief. Although some changes are easy, some are trickier and more expensive to carry out; yet, they are crucial for the future safety and well-being of the planet.
It seems impossible that a factory could ever be environmentally friendly. A factory, however, can make the manufacturing process more environmentally friendly by taking certain steps.
1. Producing electricity and heat efficiently
Plants that have installed cogeneration systems (CHP: combined heat and power) have been an important part of our energy-saving efforts in production. Cogeneration systems produce electricity and useful heat from oil, gas, or another primary energy source. Until CHP systems existed, electricity generation produced exhaust gas. As a result of not reusing the byproduct, heat would accumulate at very high temperatures. Cogeneration systems can reuse this byproduct heat by using boilers to make steam.
2. Energy usage that is efficient and waste-free
You may find that the cost of your business' energy consumption is one of its most significant expenses. Building energy management can ensure that your energy usage is as efficient as possible. It can help you reduce your expenses and optimize your profits.
There are many steps involved in reducing the environmental impact of production. Using materials that are as environmentally friendly as possible is the most important aspect. Additionally, it means manufacturing products in such a way that they consume the least amount of energy and create the least amount of waste. Energy conservation should be a priority because greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the number one cause of global warming.
3. Develop clean energy sources
Heat transfers from high-temperature to low-temperature locations can occur through heat pumps, which rise in temperature when compressed and fall in temperature when expanded. The heat pump raises or lowers the temperature of the coolant by compressing or decompressing unutilized heat in air or water.
Heat pumps should be more suitable for hot water industrial processes like air conditioners, water heaters, and other known appliances that extract energy from ambient air or waste. Using the heat pump, you can create heat and cool water simultaneously–sterilization will be achieved with heat and air conditioning with cooled water. Compared to the combustion of fossil fuels, heat pumps reduce energy use and CO2 emissions.
4. Recycling waste
To reduce final disposal waste, factories should use zero-emission methods for production activities. Incineration of waste can generate heat energy while preventing waste. In addition, factories should partner with outside businesses to recycle the remaining waste.
5. Manufacturing with a low environmental impact
The companies' priority should be to ensure that all factory sites are sustainable and environmentally friendly plants. This is particularly concerning resource utilization, reduction of CO2 emissions through low carbon process technologies, and reduction of water consumption through three R technologies (reduce, reuse, and recycle). The company's priority should also be to ensure that biodiversity is conserved through appropriate chemical management and cooperation with local communities.
For example, factories can use eco-friendly bags when packing their food products. These are made of a material called biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and are green, eco-friendly alternatives to conventional plastic bags. These bags are food-grade safe and quick-heat-sealable and available with block or crimp style bottoms.
6. Invest in energy-efficient equipment
The advancement of manufacturing technology has led to extremely energy-efficient machines. Besides being environmental-friendly, these new and improved technologies will also increase productivity and improve performance.
New factories can invest in eco-friendly equipment from the beginning, supporting Greenism by participating in it. Some manufacturers offer reduced prices for green machines so that you can purchase them at a lower cost. In addition, many governments offer incentives for green factories, so you are saving money and reducing your energy bills.
7. Install new lighting
The traditional lighting system is energy-consuming and generates a higher cost as well. If you want to reduce your energy consumption, you should switch to LEDs or CFLs. Switching off your factory's lights when they are not in use is another important thing you should do. If switching off lights in your factory is not possible because of day and night shifts, make the most of natural light to reduce the use of artificial light. A few modest changes like taking down the blinds and shades during the day can greatly reduce the amount of energy consumed.
8. Use local raw materials
Transportation of raw materials is another major reason for the carbon footprint increase. Getting raw materials from a vast distance or importing them consumes enormous amounts of fossil fuels and pollutes the atmosphere during transportation. You can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of your factory if you source raw materials locally.
Local communities can come to your aid here. Partnering with sustainable farmers, fishers, or raw material producers is one-way manufacturers can practice green manufacturing. Sustainability in local raw material production generally relies on organic methods and avoids harsh pesticides and fertilizers. Thus, they promote environmental protection and public health by sourcing raw materials from them.
9. Using alternative energy sources
With renewable energy sources, factories can cut manufacturing units' utility bills and help the environment at the same time. Even small-scale factories can now access alternative energy sources at affordable rates. Earlier, these systems were only available to the richest and biggest factories. However, factories can now install solar panels to harvest energy from the sun and sell any surplus energy back to the grid.
Deregulated electricity sources can also supply energy to factories since they are affordable and flexible. Large energy companies monopolized the distribution of energy in the past. However, this practice has disappeared since decentralization or energy deregulation took place. Factories and other energy users have several options depending on the best rate.
10. Recycling, reusing and reducing
Greenism focuses on the three Rs (recycling, reusing, and reducing). By recycling the materials produced in your factory, you can reduce raw materials and reuse all you can utilize. As a result, your factory will produce less waste. Recycling your waste and reusing pallets, packaging, and plastic will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
Recycling and reusing advanced equipment is also essential to reduce the tons of waste factories produce daily. It will also eliminate waste products and increase revenue. Factories that practice waste management are eco-friendly. They are also recognized and often rewarded by private and public agencies. As a result, they enjoy the strongest business reputations.
11. Implementing new production methods
Production methods used in traditional industries are the most polluting. However, it is possible to make changes in a variety of industries. For example, food is now produced in 'factories' using advanced technology. This is a better method for agriculture than traditional methods requiring a large water supply and spacious farmland.
Nowadays, more and more multinational corporations are starting to set up vertical farms. These plants have the ability to produce a large amount of food at a fast rate in small spaces. Additionally, they use much less water than many other plants.
The energy-saving tips in this article can be used at home and can also be applied to your factory so that you can be part of Greenism successfully. The first step is to cultivate an eco-friendly mindset. Eco-friendly technology is also referred to as clean, green, and environmental technology. Energy efficiency and reduction of harmful waste are two ways eco-friendly technologies can protect the environment. Innovative green technologies reduce the impact of human activity on the environment by using the latest environmental science and green chemistry. There have already been many breakthroughs in clean energy, filtration, and recycling.