How to achieve sustainability through investment in technology

Posted by Stephen Whitehouse on 27 Jun


Achieving long-term stability, sustainability and growth is the ultimate goal for businesses. Decisions-makers need to look at the big picture and seize opportunities to optimise the business operations for a more sustainable future.

People frequently think of resources and recycling when it comes to sustainability, but a company's journey towards being sustainable should include investing in technology that can help reduce waste that is both tangible and intangible.

How technology can help 

New solutions or processes can provide a greener outlook. Manufacturing companies can use investment in technology like ERP to schedule and organise the right activities and resources at the right time, tracking progress towards all necessary outcomes. Optimisation of these activities would save on a vast amount of resources and is something that has been a long time coming. Business decision-makers have a simple yes or no decision to make that points to vastly more complex outcomes.

The environment issues that are driving the sustainability debate: 

Everybody creates some form of waste and if a single person creates 2kg of waste every day - that's 3 tons per year for a family of 4, so imagine how much waste a company can produce in a year. As individuals and as part of organisations, the more we can collectively recycle or be mindful of waste, the more it will help reduce the impact of waste has on the environment and fewer virgin resources are used.

A Landfill is often the final destination of tons of packaging, textiles, glass, plastic, paper, metal, gardening waste etc. Inefficient supply chains or production processes can contribute to this waste unnecessarily. For example, unnecessary packaging waste may have been accumulated within the manufacturing supply chain network as items tend to be transported hundreds of miles before its final destination.

Although recycling is on the increase, there is still more to be done.

Become an advocate for zero-waste

Companies won't be able to achieve zero-waste status overnight but, small changes over time can make a difference to both lowering carbon emissions and reducing operational costs. For example, if we just look at packaging: -

  • Minimising packaging needs can save on costs as well as enable delivery vehicles to carry more products with fewer expanded foam packaging and shrink-wrapped.
  • Invest in new eco-friendly substitute or to something that is widely recyclable.
  • Provide consumers with reusable packaging like boxes, containers and hessian bags.
  • Use technology to introduce a replenishment, refill or packaging recycling schemes where possible.
  • Introduce a recycling scheme internally.
  • Source from local suppliers to help lower carbon emissions from transportation.

The reduction in packaging needs to be incentivised to weave through supply chains everywhere. But by embracing new technologies and reinventing the ways in which things are done, we can achieve far more sustainable processes throughout the manufacturing and supply chain processes.

Investing in intuitive manufacturing systems enables: -

  • Help minimise production inefficiencies and improve productivity.
  • The grouping of similar jobs together, saving on time and resources.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks to save energy and time.
  • Move to a digital environment and reduce the use of paper for different processes such as bill-of-materials, batch records and picking lists are all created and stored digitally.
  • Accurate inventory management to prevent situations such as excessive stock and perishable items going to waste.

It starts with individual organisations committing to making the necessary changes and ends with all organisations and individuals around the world making that same commitment, resulting in a total reduction in waste and energy consumed that makes a significant difference to humanity's impact on the environment. To find out more about how WinMan ERP Software can help you minimise waste and inefficiencies contact us today.

 >> See WinMan's ERP software functions here

Topics: ERP Software, Business Management Software, Business Efficiency, Productivity

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