Greener together in manufacturing

Diana Avram-Anghel
Diana Avram-Anghel

In last week’s 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), English broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough had one of the most powerful voices. “If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet…surely, working together, we are powerful enough to save it,” he said in his speech full of hope.

But Sir Attenborough didn’t just address the world leaders, climate advocates, scientists, and other esteemed attendees at the conference. And his invitation to work together would not only benefit the planet’s biodiversity. Tackling climate change, prioritizing sustainability, and greening the work we do applies to everyone, no matter the sector. With the transition towards the factory of the future, manufacturers have the opportunity to limit their impact on the environment, operate smarter, and deliver meaningful progress.

More critical than ever

Unfortunately, the climate emergency is nothing new. After several warnings, attempts to raise awareness, and protests all around the globe, this has become a topic that cannot be ignored. The need to act, change, and be smart in our decisions is now more critical than ever.

In manufacturing too, we have the responsibility to be mindful about how we use our resources, knowing that waste will not only taint brands and eat into profits but can seriously impact on a larger scale. Despite innovative tools and technologies that make sustainability achievable, there are many manufacturers ‘stuck in the old ways.’ This often means inconsistent quality, defective products, paper administration, wasted time, and an increased risk in human mistakes – to name just a few steps that could be taken towards a green transition.

How to be green in manufacturing

AlisQI is proud to be working with two (very different) pioneers in sustainable manufacturing. Interface, a global leader in commercial flooring with a long pedigree of corporate sustainability is very serious about recycling. It saves carpet from ending in the landfill and buys discarded fishing nets that are recycled into yarn. The feel-good factor is massive yet the approach also more than pays for itself: Interface’s European operations are saving more than €6m annually through sustainability.

Plastic has a considerable image problem, but Oerlemans Plastics, a manufacturer of flexible synthetic plastics and film products, does not run away from that. Its answer is to innovate and to engage with sustainability at every opportunity. The company has signed up to ISO 26000 standards on corporate social responsibility and subjects itself to scrutiny by the CSR rating platform EcoVadis. It uses renewable energy to manufacture plastics that are increasingly biodegradable and/or recycled from biomass waste. The messaging on sustainability is thoughtful and consistent, backed up with investments that make it easier to set and achieve sustainable objectives. AlisQI was one of those investments.

Green goals and small actions

AlisQI, a no-code QMS platform that combines Quality Control, Document Management, and QESH Management, helps manufacturing companies by automating their processes. The switch to digital means working smarter, not harder. This translates into real-time data, advanced statistics, workflows, and alerts, and a more sustainable process for which every decision is substantiated by data.

Using our software, our customers take more informed decisions and make changes only when it is deemed necessary. They manage to reduce waste by up to 15% and save 20% on time. And, because our platform was designed for non-developers, the quality teams can define their own processes, not depending on IT resources.

Conclusion

Even if your organization is not a big polluter, our planet needs us more than ever. Whether it’s green packaging, recycling materials, reducing paper waste, automating your processes, or using renewable energy – every action is an important step to limit our footprint on the environment. Let’s make manufacturing green and keep a keen eye on tomorrow.