Sustainability has long been a pressing issue on the minds of many socially conscious consumers and business owners alike, and for good reason – the planet’s ecosystem depends on it.
For vital industries like construction and manufacturing, the need to recognize and act upon the vast importance of sustainability is not only a sensible business decision but also a duty to the natural world.
The circular economy is an effective process adopted by many in an effort to improve overall sustainability, and for immensely popular and critically important materials like steel, it may even be a necessity in maximizing resources and minimizing carbon footprints.
How exactly does this make a difference in terms of the future of sustainable production, and why should you be concerned?
Whether or not you happen to be in the industry yourself, it is important to understand what exactly is being done to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and construction on the environment, as you too could be a part of the solution. After all, sustainability is a subject that affects everyone.
Why is Sustainability Important?
According to the United Nations, climate change is the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced. Averting this crisis will no doubt require everyone to take action in some capacity. It starts by raising awareness and realizing the catastrophic consequences that await humankind if meaningful changes are not made.
What does this have to do with the manufacturing and construction industries?
A great deal indeed. In fact, the construction industry is by far the biggest consumer of natural resources on the planet. Some reports show that around 75% of all natural resource use has been put into construction in years gone by, a worrying figure when you think about the finite nature of natural materials and the sheer level of global consumption.
Perhaps even more alarming is a recent article from the OECD (Organization for Economic Development and Co-Operation), which predicts that by 2060, the number of natural resources consumed by the construction industry around the world will double.
Huge changes must be made to ensure the safety and longevity of global humanity, and it comes with a host of unique business benefits, too, a persuasive and potentially lucrative point for vigilant entrepreneurs everywhere.
A move toward sustainable manufacturing practices is quickly becoming a mainstay of countless businesses, and it can’t come soon enough. As it stands, around one-quarter of the energy in the U.S. is taken up by manufacturing processes alone.
Those that are able to implement and hit their sustainability goals can relish in the many additional benefits it brings, such as easier brand building, better employee retention rates, and possibly even greater product value.
The latter being so prevalent, in fact, that 66% of customers are more willing to spend more on products they know have been sustainably produced.
Perhaps one of the best and potentially most straightforward methods of increasingly sustainability techniques is for businesses to commit to reducing wastage. Proper inventory control is a great way to do this, as is recycling in general.
As usual, technology has a large role to play in the progression of industries, and manufacturing is no different. From advanced 3D printers to a range of digital tools, the race for more sustainable manufacturing can and should be aided by the latest and greatest technological developments.
There are many wonderful software options available to businesses nowadays, each of them offering up a wealth of unique benefits. Companies using a dependable integrated software solution to help them tackle their waste management and process optimization are likely going to have an easier time reaching their sustainability goals than those who don’t choose the more modern approach.
By its very nature, the construction industry is responsible for taking a toll on the earth’s resources. There’s a great deal riding on the construction industry in terms of their ability to promote and practice sustainability.
For example, an article from the World Green Building Council states that the global green building industry has the potential to cut energy consumption by 50% or more by 2050.
Sustainable building practices are not only good for the environment, but they often tend to save both companies and consumers a huge amount of money, too, particularly when firms opt to utilize recycled materials.
Alternative building materials don’t have to be more expensive by any means. Just take a look at some of the more popular options like stone, concrete, and steel rods.
As the world’s population continues to grow and finite natural resources start to dwindle, circumstances demand that current construction practices consistently evolve. Averting disaster by changing the current trajectory is doable, provided companies recognize their responsibility and play their part.
Perhaps a move toward a circular system is a good way to reduce prices, maximize finite resources and ultimately, bolster worldwide sustainability rates.
It’s not just the responsibility of the manufacturers and the construction companies to figure this out either. It requires the input of the consumer and governmental support to get it right.
The conditions can be met, and if corporate responsibility and environmental awareness continue to rise, so too can sustainability rates.
Technological innovation will likely have a critical role to play in the future of both manufacturing and construction, and steel, the wonder metal, probably won’t be going anywhere.