5 Ways To Manufacture Your Products More Sustainably
Whatever your business’ target audience, branding, size or scope, the right product is everything. Sure, customers might keep coming back because they appreciate the outstanding quality of service your team deliver. Or the way you make them feel special or valued. Or even the clever and useful content that you generate as part of your marketing efforts. But it’s the product that gets them to notice you in the first place. It’s the product that brought them to you, and the product that can send them into the open arms of your competitors if you relax your standards or fail to keep up with their needs.
Speaking of their needs, it’s important for any business to understand exactly what its target audience wants from their product and their brand. Because while you may assume that every consumer is looking for value for money, there are other things that they may value more. The millennial generation, especially, is motivated by ethics and sustainably. And over 70% of millennial consumers would be prepared to pay more for sustainably sourced and manufactured products. If younger people are your target audience, you need to find ways to manufacture your products more sustainably. Here’s how…
Consider how the materials, compounds and components you use will affect the environment
Whatever it is you make, you need to consider how its component parts will affect the environment when it is either disposed of or introduced into the consumer’s water supply. Detergent manufacturers, for instance, understand that hard metal ions in water can react with detergents to form insoluble metal salts. As such, they introduce agents like Sodium Tripolyphosphate STPP to convert metal ions into harmless substances. Don’t assume that even if you’re using all natural materials that your product can never have an adverse effect on the environment.
Even something as simple as instructing consumers how to dispose of packaging responsibly can make a huge difference to your product’s sustainability. Which brings us to…
Find a more sustainable way to package your products
For decades, when we’ve thought about how to package our product the solution has always been plastics. But in an era where consumers are more aware than ever of how plastics can affect our environment when they go into landfill waste, more and more of your customers are going out of their way to avoid plastics.
Fortunately, in an age of increased ethical and ecological awareness, there’s a plant based alternative to everything, from milk to omega-3 rich fish oil. There are many manufacturers currently engaged in making biodegradable plant-based alternatives to plastics that are every bit as hardy and versatile, yet carry a tiny fraction of the ecological impact.
Use a renewable energy supplier
It’s not just the environmental impact of the compounds and materials that you use. It’s also the energy that’s used in your manufacturing and other operations. If you’re not actively taking steps to reduce the energy consumed by your operations, not only do you risk alienating ethically conscious consumers, your energy expenditure could be eroding your profit margins.
Not only does it behove you to find ways gto reduce energy consumption, you should also consider just how renewable your energy is. The good news is that there are lots of suppliers on the market that use up to 100% renewable energy that uses no finite resources to create.
Find ways to reduce water consumption
Speaking of finite resources, if you don’t have a water management strategy for your manufacturing operations, you could be using more of this precious resource than is strictly necessary. Just because water is proliferate doesn’t mean that it’s infinite. We need to remember that water is a finite resource, and take active steps to avoid its over-consumption. The first step should be to measure and monitor exactly how much water you’re using, and form a minimization team to look into strategies that could allow you to maintain your output while also reducing the amount of water you use.
Make sure your values are reflected all the way up and down your supply chain
Finally, as well as taking ownership of everything you do to operate more sustainably, it’s important to remember how digitally savvy today’s consumers are. They’ll want to see your values reflected all the way through your supply chain from the sourcing of your raw materials to your outsourced packaging. And if they see any inconsistencies, they may chose to ditch you for one of your competitors.
Master the art of operating sustainably, however, and you’ll continue to make the right impression on customers who demand that the companies they buy from have a strong ethical focus.