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Tips to help manufacturers go green

Green manufacturing has moved from being a buzzword in the industry of manufacturing to being a required component. More and more manufacturing companies are seeing the benefits of going green in not just the production process but all throughout their entire company. This turn towards using green manufacturing is not only good for the environment but manufacturing companies that are implementing these measures are finding significant costs savings and huge jumps in customer good will. If you are the owner of a manufacturing company looking to go green, here are some tips to help you get started-

- Do some research-It is crucial that you take the time to educate yourself about green manufacturing principles. This the best way to determine what green practices will be best for your manufacturing business. There is a lot of information online that can be easily accessed along with trade publications that can give you additional information about going green. Talking to other manufacturing business owners who have made the move to green practices can also give you better insight into how to develop a plan for your company. Do not underestimate the need for sufficient research since this is how you will plan the best green measures that will meet your needs.
- Start small-Many manufacturing companies begin with fairly small measures when it comes to green manufacturing. Implementing recycling stations can be a great way to begin with green manufacturing. However, it is important to keep in mind that any green practices that you put in place will require employee training. Management will also need to be heavily supporting the practices in order to get employees enthused and supportive about whatever changes are being made. Manufacturing experts recommend that companies make small changes and only a few at a time. Once the changes have taken hold within the company culture then it is time to move on to establishing other green manufacturing practices.
- Figure out where you can change-As you implement these smaller green changes such as: recycling or using vendors that use only green practices it is time to begin researching where other bigger green changes can be made. It is important to understand that you won't know where you can gain cost savings from implementing green manufacturing until you know where the money is being spent. One of the first steps is to call in a consultant to do an energy audit. This can help you to better see where your energy is being used and where it will be the most beneficial for your manufacturing company to go green. The energy audit can indentify several key areas will you can save on energy costs both now and in the future.
- Look up-One of the biggest energy wasters within many manufacturing companies comes from the ceiling. Both the lights and the heating and cooling systems can be high energy users. Many manufacturing companies have found that by simply replacing their lights with more energy efficient (green) products and putting on timed controls, they can reduce their energy consumption by over 50%. A manufacturing lighting specialist can help you determine where the changes should be made. Another significant energy use for most manufacturing companies comes from the heating and cooling they do within their building. If you are a manufacturing business owner you may be surprised to learn that up to 30% of your energy bill may come from your HVAC system. Simply by having your heating and cooling system looked at and evaluated you can then make changes that will have a significant decrease on the amount that you are spending within your business.

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