Earth Day, observed each year on April 22, serves as a celebration of the birth of the modern environmental movement. Started in 1970, Earth Day was sparked by the country’s burgeoning understanding of how contemporary industrial practices were negatively impacting the environment. The celebration was designed to bring awareness to many of the dangers affecting the environment — air pollution, water contamination, habitat destruction, and so on — and to encourage people to take action in protecting their surroundings.
In the decades that have followed, the emphasis on adopting eco-friendly practices, implementing sustainability measures, and protecting the environment has continued to grow, gaining traction across diverse industries, sectors, and settings — including the manufacturing world.
Today, this increased environmental awareness is influencing how some companies, and, in particular, some manufacturers, conduct everyday operations. In fact, many industries are now adopting sustainable manufacturing practices in response to this increased focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship.
The Trends that Will Forever Shape Manufacturing in 2018 & Beyond
Creating an Eco-Friendly Industrial Landscape
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency broadly describes sustainable manufacturing as the process of producing manufactured goods through the use of eco-friendly practices and materials that aim to reduce harmful impacts to the environment while conserving energy and protecting our natural resources.
Implementing sustainable manufacturing is more important than ever, for many different reasons. First, sustainable manufacturing is not just right for the planet — it can also significantly enhance the safety of your facility, your staff, your products, and your community as a whole. By creating products that are more eco-friendly, you can be sure that the people who produce and consume them will be safer, as well.
Sustainable manufacturing can also be very cost-effective. By improving the efficiency of your equipment and processes, you can lower energy consumption, decrease manufacturing time, reduce waste, and use less material — all of which can provide significant cost savings for you and your customers. More efficient, automated equipment can also allow for enhanced worker safety, protecting employees from the dangers of traditional equipment prone to malfunctioning.
Plus, incorporating sustainable manufacturing processes into operations can go a long way in boosting your company’s reputation, helping to build greater trust with customers and even gaining you new leads. With increased focus on sustainability worldwide, many consumers are specifically seeking out businesses with eco-friendly manufacturing practices. Customers want to feel good about the products they’re purchasing and be sure the companies they’re supporting share the same values and standards.
Practicing sustainable manufacturing encourages customers to engage with your company and instills trust that you hold similar ideals. Plus, the adoption of eco-friendly practices demonstrates your investment in the surrounding area, showing that you’re serious about protecting the community in which your employees live and work.
At The Rodon Group, we understand just how essential it is to invest in sustainable manufacturing, as we’ve taken several efforts to adopt more sustainable manufacturing in our plastic injection molding operations. In fact, over the last few years, we’ve made many eco-friendly processes and facility improvements, all of which have benefited both our bottom line and the environment. In particular, our team has focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, and increasing our recycling capabilities.
Improving Energy Efficiency
The Rodon Group has adopted several methods for conserving energy and operating with greater efficiency. We are a member of the Energy Curtailment Specialists (ECS) program, which has helped us improve how we use energy through various sustainability initiatives.
For example, we have installed motion-sensor-activated lights in our facilities to save electricity. We have also reduced our energy use during peak periods of demand to avoid the risk of blackouts and ensure constant availability of electricity for our neighbors in the local community.
Our team has also taken efforts to significantly reduce the amount of waste we generate in day-to-day operations. One of our most significant initiatives, for example, has been to conserve 150 tons of cardboard each year. In addition, we use servo-robots to maximize the amount of product we can pack within each individual box — allowing us to triple and even quadruple the number of parts packed.
We even offer our customers a returnable/reusable packaging program to further reduce the number of cartons used. Other necessary measures include the recycling of excess plastic used in our plastic injection molding processes and the delivery of virgin resin in bulk, with storage in silos.
In addition to recycling our leftover plastic materials and cardboard packaging, we work hard to fully recycle all waste produced in the plastic injection molding process. In fact, Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS) officially designated The Rodon Group as among the first landfill-free injection molding facilities.
We are proud to work closely with SWS to ensure that all waste generated at our facility is recycled into something that can be used in other areas of industry. SWS takes in all waste generated at The Rodon Group, either for recycling or for use in advanced energy processing systems to create electricity that is then used to power homes and businesses in the surrounding community.
At The Rodon Group, we’re dedicated to implementing sustainable, eco-friendly initiatives not just on Earth Day, but all year long. We’re proud to lead the plastic injection molding industry in sustainable manufacturing, and our team is working hard to continually improve our environmental efforts.
Our ISO 9001:2015 certification ensures that we meet the International Standards for Quality Management, illustrating that we adhere to all production standards for sustainable manufacturing. Earning this updated ISO 9001 certification early on has given us the chance to immediately incorporate improvements from the revised standard, allowing us to enhance our sustainability measures even further.
A copy of our new ISO 9001:2015 certification will soon be available for download on our website. Or, to learn more about the sustainable manufacturing practices incorporated into our plastic injection molding processes, contact the team today.