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Sustainable manufacturing - starting the journey

IET factfile: Sustainable manufacturing - starting the journey

What will truly sustainable manufacturing look like in the future? Is sustainable manufacturing actually possible? Will it produce artefacts at the speed and volumes of today? Will its products be as complex, as exciting or last as long? The answers to these questions may be “yes and more so”. What is certain, is the need for resource efficient manufacturing processes e.g. materials, energy and water. Failure to secure such efficiencies could result in resource depletion, scarcity and further environmental degradation. The ability to meet the needs of society in a sustainable way is key for manufacturing.

Within post-industrialised nations over the last generation, the air is cleaner, waters are clearer and quality of life is better. We have more ‘stuff’, which in principle is not a problem but globally environmental damage is ever worsening. Is it our problem or someone else’s?