Tag Archives: Manufacturing

The Bluesign Standard

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Since sustainability initiatives are beginning to become very common, almost all industries are trying to figure how or what they can do. With this comes the rise in other businesses designed to help those attain their sustainability goals and New Leaf is one of them. It is a great opportunity for businesses to be able to have access to experts who they would otherwise have to hire or train, which can prove to be time consuming and more expensive than consulting firms. However, there has been an increase in large companies specifically hiring sustainability personnel because they feel it is worth their while and sustainability is not just a fad, it is important and here to stay. But when a company needs to dramatically overhaul their product line to become more sustainable, an outside organization can prove to be an easy route. For the textile industry, Bluesign is just that organization. A Swiss scientist, Dr. Peter Waeber, began to develop sustainable products in the 1980s, with a project for the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) to create a “green” cotton. Throughout the development of this and the introduction of sustainable dyes, finally  Continue Reading »

The Larger Costs of Sustainability: The Shipping Industry

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis It is obvious that doing the little things to become sustainable, like reducing energy and paper consumption and trash reduction, can be very rewarding and cost relatively little to implement. However, what about the major operations that can end up costing billions of dollars to implement substantial sustainability initiatives in their sector? The transportation sector has been able to implement more fuel efficient vehicles in their fleets to help reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, but there is still an even bigger energy user that may be commonly overlooked. Almost all consumer goods are shipped from their manufacturing origin to their destinations by overseas shipping, something many may not usually think about. As you recall these massive shipping vessels, you may clue in to how much fuel it may take to transport those thousands of shipping containers processed at ports around the US a day. This then represents a very massive area of human existence that is extremely unsustainable. As with many of the sustainability problems, this one does have solutions that have been developed through modern technology to create more sustainable overseas shipping. However, it is not as simple as  Continue Reading »

Going Landfill-Free

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis An important part to becoming sustainable as a business, and as an extension a society, is dealing with the mounds of trash that is accumulated and then sent off to be dumped into landfills. According to the EPA, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash in 2010. This works out to over half a million tons every single day and 4.43 pound per person per day. Only 85 million tons of this was composted or recycled, coming out to be a 34.1% recycling rate. Even though this seems to be a low figure, it has steadily increased since mid-1990. As a business, the waste generated in offices can consist of material that is easily recyclable, like paper and plastic. However, waste material generated in the manufacturing process of a business can create a recycling challenge. The big American car manufacturer that you may have heard of, General Motors, has taken this recycling initiative head on to create a sustainable manufacturing process. As of June 2012, GM added its 100th landfill-free facility in Lansing, Michigan. The landfill-free designation literally means that the facility does not put one item  Continue Reading »