Electronics manufacturers no longer just have a responsibility to offer high-quality products for their customers. With the environment and climate changing faster than we could’ve ever anticipated and global pollution levels rising rapidly, businesses in the manufacturing industry have a role to play in finding more sustainable alternatives to environmentally damaging practices.

While manufacturing can be an incredibly polluting process, advances in technology and the availability of a wealth of more sustainable resources mean it’s also possible for manufacturing to be greener.

Why should you go green?

Of course, the primary incentive for any company to make their manufacturing more sustainable should be to reduce their impact on the environment and safeguard the planet for the future.

Reducing carbon emissions will preserve the world’s much-needed biodiversity, reduce reliance on the ever-diminishing supply of fossil fuels and improve the world’s air quality.

While looking after our world should be a priority, there are also several monetary incentives to engaging in greener manufacturing processes. Tax savings, reduced production costs and boosted productivity are just a handful of ways that businesses can benefit financially from more sustainable manufacturing.

What’s more, customers are more likely to choose a manufacturer showing a commitment to being environmentally friendly. According to research by The Manufacturer, 80% of people are more willing to purchase from a business making a demonstrable effort to be more sustainable. Consumers’ attitudes are shifting rapidly towards more environmentally conscious business models, meaning any company not putting sustainability practices in place now risk being out of business in just a few years’ time. 

Small changes for a significant impact  

So, how can manufacturers change their processes to be more sustainable?

An ideal manufacturing world is one with as little waste as possible. Once processes have been refined to produce minimal ‘wasted’ by-products, any excess materials or substances should be recovered and repurposed. This ‘circular’ or ‘lean’ approach to manufacturing creates more continuous loops of material so that nothing ever enters a landfill site — a critical aspect of tackling climate change.

We’ve spoken previously about how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to make manufacturing smarter. But could it make it more sustainable, too? Investing in up-to-date technologies and IoT components facilitates smart manufacturing, which avoids overproduction or underuse of materials caused by poor planning. Ultimately, adopting IoT in manufacturing translates into improved efficiency and sustainability.

Automation is linked to IoT. As well as improving production speeds and efficiency, automation results in higher safety levels, meaning less downtime for employees and less energy required when continually restarting machines.

Off the production floor, digitising your office’s internal processes to enable real-time contributes to a more eco-friendly approach. Online collaboration platforms allow for a more digitally connected workforce, improving safety, productivity and sustainability.

Encouraging sustainable practices in the office is also a good place to start. Turning off monitors, choosing energy-saving lightbulbs and implementing a cycle-to-work scheme all enhance a company’s overarching sustainability strategy.

Our pledge to sustainability

At EMS, we recognise our responsibility as an electronics manufacturer to monitor and reduce our environmental impact, for the sake of the planet and the efficiency of our processes. When it comes to sustainability, we understand that there’s always room for improvement.

Currently, we recycle wherever possible — whether that’s on the manufacturing floor or in the office. When it comes to non-recyclable waste, we consistently dispose of any hazardous materials properly. And importantly, we’re always making our employees aware of their impact on the environment and how to reduce it.

We have also signed up to the FNZ Standard with the objective of a 2050 net zero target. The standard is a way to record where we are, monitor our progress, and benchmark ourselves against our sector and will verify and audit us by future Net Zero.

If you’d like more information about EMS’ electronics manufacturing services, get in touch today and a member of our friendly team would be delighted to assist you.