5 Sustainable Manufacturing Examples Explained

Sustainable manufacturing examples are; chemical manufacturing with waste minimization, renewable energy-based material conversion, conservative smart phone manufacturing, organic food product manufacturing, and recycled material usage.

This article discusses sustainable manufacturing examples as follows;






1). Chemical Manufacturing with Waste Minimization and Effluent Treatment (as one of the Sustainable Manufacturing Examples)

Waste minimization in chemical manufacturing is an important objective that increases the sustainability of the manufacturing process, and generally reduces the risk of resource depletion and environmental degradation.

To achieve waste minimization in the chemical industry; a combination of sustainable material selection and processing/conversion efficiency is required.

The sustainability of chemical manufacturing is further increased through effluent treatment, which involves the subjection of process wastes to processes that alter their composition and make them less hazardous to the environment [1].

When waste minimization is combined with effluent treatment in the course of chemical manufacturing, the results include lower risk and rate of environmental pollution, and increased safety of the ecosystem.

Sustainable Manufacturing Examples: Chemical Manufacturing with Waste Minimization and Effluent Treatment (Credit: Pavel Hrdlička 2022 .CC BY-SA 4.0.)
Sustainable Manufacturing Examples: Chemical Manufacturing with Waste Minimization and Effluent Treatment (Credit: Pavel Hrdlička 2022 .CC BY-SA 4.0.)





2). Renewable Energy-based Material Conversion

The attribute of renewability is very important to sustainable development as a whole.

For sustainable manufacturing, using renewable energy to power the conversion of raw materials is an essential step toward the decarbonization of manufacturing.

This (decarbonization) is very important, especially when the socioeconomic implications of greenhouse gas emissions are considered.

Renewable energy usage can lead to ‘cleaner’ manufacturing processes with less energy wastage and air pollution, among others.

Another closely-linked concept to renewable energy usage in sustainable manufacturing, is the use of renewable raw materials (RRMs).

These materials basically originate from biomass as their primary source, and are very compatible with the ecosystem [2].

Forms of renewable energy that have so far been used in manufacturing are mainly hydro, solar and wind.

The main limitation of renewable energy-based manufacturing is the limited capacity of most renewable energy options compared to fossil fuels.




3). Conservative Smart Phone Manufacturing (as one of the Sustainable Manufacturing Examples)

Improving the sustainability of smart phone manufacturing and utilization has become an important objective of the IT industry.

A term which can be used to describe the achievement of such sustainability is ‘conservative smart phone manufacturing’.

As the term implies, it involves efforts to combine the manufacture of these devices with efforts to increase energy conservation and mitigate resource depletion.

Conservative smart phone manufacturing is very crucial because the technological industry in general is notorious for producing hazardous waste.

In conservative manufacturing, materials used in smart phone production are selected based on their sustainability, compatibility with the ecosystem, and ease of recycling.

Gadgets resulting from this approach can be called ‘eco phones’, although it is not easy to clarify the exact set of criteria that qualify a gadget to fall within this category.

Conservative smart phone manufacturing also aims for resilient and reliable products with high quality, that can provide assurance of a long service life on average, so as to minimize waste production rate.




4). Organic Food Product Manufacturing

The main raw materials used in organic food-product manufacturing is organic food; which is itself the product of organic farming, that is generally conducted based on sustainable agricultural principles.

The sustainability of organic food cam be attributed to the process by which they are grown, which involves minimal use of synthetic chemicals and unsustainable techniques [5] [3].

In the process of converting these organic foods into refined products, sustainability can also be achieved if effort is made to reduce unsustainable practices and inputs, including those meant to preserve the products.

Sustainable Manufacturing Examples: Organic Food Product Manufacturing (Credit: E4024 2017 .CC BY-SA 4.0.)
Sustainable Manufacturing Examples: Organic Food Product Manufacturing (Credit: E4024 2017 .CC BY-SA 4.0.)




5). Recycled Material Usage (as one of the Sustainable Manufacturing Examples)

The use of recycled raw materials in manufacturing is a sustainable practice that is applicable in energy, electronics and plastics industries, among others.

Using recycled materials is sustainable because it helps to reduce waste by converting a significant portion of these waste into useful materials that can be reapplied in production [4].

The materials themselves are referred to as secondary raw materials, and their usage implies that the supply chain will become more resilient and reliable in terms of the availability of material resources.






Sustainable manufacturing examples are;

1. Chemical Manufacturing with Waste Minimization and Effluent Treatment

2. Renewable Energy-based Material Conversion

3. Conservative Smart Phone Manufacturing

4. Organic Food Product Manufacturing

5. Recycled Material Usage






1). García, V.; Pongrácz, E.; Keiski, R. (2004). “Waste Minimization in the Chemical Industry: From Theory to Practice.” Waste Minimization and Resources Use Optimization ConferenceAt: Oulu, Finland. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228807373_Waste_Minimization_in_the_Chemical_Industry_From_Theory_to_Practice. (Accessed 29 December 2022).

2). Jering, A.; Günther, J.; Raschka, A.; Carus, M.; Piotrowski, S. Scholz, L.; Vollmer, G. (2010). Use of renewable raw materials with special emphasis on chemical industry.” Available at: https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.13506.61121. (Accessed 27 December 2022).

3). Niggli, U. (2014). “Sustainability of organic food production: Challenges and innovations.” Proceedings of The Nutrition Society 74(01):1-6. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665114001438. (Accessed 27 December 2022).

4). Rogetzer, P.; Silbermayr, L.; Jammernegg, W. (2018). “Sustainable sourcing of strategic raw materials by integrating recycled materials.” Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal 30(4). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10696-017-9288-4. (Accessed 27 December 2022).

5). Zimmerman, N. (2020). “So, Is Organic Food Actually More Sustainable?” Available at: https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2020/02/05/organic-sustainable-food/. (Accessed 27 December 2022).

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