Manufacturers Are Paving the Way as Environmental Stewards

Manufacturers take environmental stewardship seriously. As outlined in an op-ed that ran just this morning, manufacturers are looking to the future and leading by example through the implementation of sustainable practices and reducing their environmental footprint.

With the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) most recent economic outlook survey—released last week—underlining the industry’s strong economic optimism, manufacturers are taking the opportunity to not only invest more, grow their workforces and increase salaries but also embrace practices that protect the environment. One way this commitment is being demonstrated is through the NAM’s Sustainability in Manufacturing Partnership with the Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program. Launched on April 10, this partnership has provided a national platform for manufacturers to highlight their company’s projects, encourage the adoption of energy-efficient and sustainable practices and explore emerging technologies and evaluate future challenges that need to be addressed.

Moreover, when the NAM recently surveyed its member companies on sustainability, the numbers came back overwhelmingly positive. Not only do 93.8 percent report tracking energy usage and 81 percent report tracking water consumption, but 74 percent report they have a recycling program in place to do something about it, and 72 percent of manufacturers report they have a sustainability policy in place to do something about it (another 8.3 percent have programs under development). What are they doing? Well, as the op-ed notes, you can check out Manufacturing a Sustainable Future to see many different examples. The op-ed contains a few examples itself, for instance:

“When wallboard waste comes back to USG Corporation’s Rainier, Ore. plan, a machine separates the gypsum core from the paper. The paper is then sent to a local dairy farm, where it’s used for bedding, while the recovered gypsum goes back into the manufacturing process to be recycled into new wallboard . . . ”

“Union Pacific reduced its energy consumption by 3.8 million kilowatt hours in 2017—enough to power more than 400 American homes for a year.”

With an eye toward the future, the NAM is once again proving that modern manufacturing in America is synonymous to innovation, investment and environmental stewardship. We know that manufacturers will continue to keep their promises, too, because they remain committed to safeguarding the health and longevity of our planet and its people.

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