How to Make Your Factory Greener

Going green isn’t just for the lentil-weavers and hasn’t been for a long time – going eco increases your bottom line, engages more of your market and helps to keep the planet safe for future generations.

Can I afford it and is it worth it?

You might be wondering what the advantages of greening your workplace are, so here’s two for starters:

You’ll increase profits by attracting new customers and by lowering costs. If you’re reducing water, electricity and paper, you’ll reduce running costs. Many customers prefer eco-conscious companies and you’ll garner more if you’re loud and proud about your efforts. Who knew that a bank of industrial units in Wimbledon could make such a difference?

There are also government initiatives to reward businesses that adopt greener measures, so investigate them.

You’ll also improve the happiness of your workforce. This is intangible, but just as valuable as hard cash. Workers feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves.

How do we get started?

It can seem intimidating, but going green is a series of baby-steps.

Have a look around – are your lightbulbs low energy? If not, switch them out for long-lasting, energy-efficient ones. They’re more expensive, but they last for years.

Do you have leaky windows? Get busy with the silicone gun and you can finally turn down that thermostat a notch.

Get some energy

Can you afford solar panels or a biomass heating system? It’s expensive but you may qualify for government funding, and a bank of solar panels on your roof lets everyone know what you’re about. You could even sell some of your energy back to the grid.

If you can’t produce your own power, buy it from eco-friendly companies – their deals are often significantly cheaper than the biggies and you can let customers know about it.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

You can save a fortune by reducing workplace wastage. Less waste means lower removal costs and if you use recycled raw materials – or reuse your own – you’ll be saving there. If you use product packaging, can you streamline it or use biodegradable materials?

Save water

Most industrial processes use a lot of water, but many factories don’t know how much they’re actually using. Order an audit and see how much water you could save – by producing less waste water you’ll pay less both in supply and treatment costs. If possible, buy in new tech or new machines to help you to conserve water and send less into the sewer system.

Examine your pollution

Don’t hide it – sort it. If you can stem the flow of polluted or polluting materials at the source, you’re halfway there. Everything you send out – be it waste or finished products – has to be dealt with somewhere down the line.

Buy high-quality machines that will last for much longer, get rid of nasties from your raw materials if you can and adopt in-process recycling methods so you’re not throwing away raw materials.

Recycle or donate old machines to charities, start-ups or schools, or send them to specialist recycling plants rather than to landfill. Click here to read more about landfill.