Sustainable production is a whole new topic, and you might wonder why we are even coming at it. Or why am I even writing about it?
Sustainable production is an integral part of the whole idea of ‘sustainability or ‘being sustainable’. So we all need to understand what Sustainable Production is, at least understand the basic concept rather than getting a full-cut, deeply researched or studied form.
Many brands have stated that they have been targeting to shift to sustainable production methods in any given year or have already implemented them. As a result, consumers quickly think that it is worth the investment in such a great brand.
My main intention in writing this specific content is to understand it in a significantly simpler format to connect to the base idea of sustainable production.
SUSTAINABLE + PRODUCTION = ?
Breaking down the words are the easiest way to understand a concept.
Sustainability means meeting our needs and not compromising future needs. It means upbringing the environment, society and the economy also.
Production means the action of making or manufacturing from components or raw materials, or the process of being so manufactured.
Now that I have given you the literal meanings of the word by breaking them. Let’s understand what sustainable production is.
Sustainable production means the goods manufacturing system that considers the environment, society and economy where the process is
- Conserving of natural resources and energy
- Considering the needs of the community.
- Safeguarding the rights of working-class
- Economically viable
A considerable process to not directly throw out intoxicated wastage into nature is likely to be a non-polluting method. Filteration of wastewater and gas/smoke and separating compostable and non-compostable waste is a great way to go about it.
Many industries have filtered their waste before exposing it to nature but have supplied it to companies that utilize it. For example, fashion brands that use dyes in their production process filter out the dye waste and supply it to concrete cement manufacturers who mix it into cement for building purposes that don’t affect the environment.
Conserving of natural resources and energy
It is essential to utilize the resources and energy used in the production of goods and services. Therefore, the companies can practise recycling and conscious use of resources and energy. Other than this, companies should make efforts to produce or grow these resources in a sustainable way. For sustainable production methods, renewable sources of energy and resources should be used too.
Considering the needs of the community
A forecast and analysis on the consumers’ trend on using a particular product, goods and services are essential in fulfilling the demand and stocking up products. This means that there is no demand or supply gap in the market. Another crucial step is to keep the quality of the product its priority. If any actions or practices of the brand or company harm, affect or violate the community’s needs, necessary changes should be implemented.
Safeguarding the rights of working-class
A fair pricing, fair workplace with desired amenities for its workers and qualitative goods and services should be the main aim of the producing sector. The labourers work day and night to accomplish the goals set by large corporates to receive the required wage and safety and insurance.
Any product that has its quality maintained in an economically viable price range will allow the consumers to buy the product.
It is vital to understand that it is difficult to bring out a product that has its quality maintained, environmental effects acknowledged at a rate economically viable to a mass of consumers. Therefore, the goal for the producers should be to bring a balance in their production and work sustainably.
For this topic, the Why is the biggest question. Why do I even read about this when I have no hands near-production sector? Why is this for me? Why would I want to get a better clarification about it?
Do people want this?
The sustainability markets rising to 100 billion dollars (isn’t) just like that. The consumers want it.
Don’t the consumers want what is already there? Needs are tangible. Environment conditions are changing. What suited then doesn’t serve now. We are environmentally aware. We want to make a better present. Awareness is rising.
Why do we need to Understand Sustainable Production?
Carbon footprint is rising so rapidly. In the present context, add the natural calamities increasing rate and frequency.
Millennials have had their ‘nature time’, so why are we not getting enough of it. With the consumer’s requirements, today is increasing, and we need to meet that.
But is it enough to do the same way?
Will the mass requirement be fulfilled? Yes, it definitely will.
Fulfilling the mass requirement isn’t the main goal that we desire and want the nature element to be with us. But this doesn’t mean that we are doing it for something better.
Because we are doing it the same old fashioned way, and it is increasing our carbon footprint. It isn’t a sensible move.
Let’s understand the goal of our production matter.
Why are we looking into production?
- We are trying to serve the consumers. Our main aim is to understand the consumer and fulfil their needs. This is the base mechanism of the market, consumer and producers.
- The raw materials and other required resources and energy used by the production unit should be allocatively and productively efficient. The raw materials should be sourced sustainably from farmers who provide qualitative goods and are in need of the support of the industries.
- Big industries and companies generate alot of revenue which contributes to a significant part of the economy of the country.
Other than this sustainable mode of production opens up new possibilities and opportunities also.
- It helps in reducing the cost of production through improved energy efficiency and resource efficiency.
- The consumers will reach out to your brand, meaning having a competitive advantage in the market
- Assures long term success for the company.
If this is the primary goal over here, why not switch to sustainable production than all the old mechanisms of sustainable production.
Setting sustainable goals
It is essential to scale out the cost of any change to the business before its implementation. Therefore, planning things based on analysis and setting goals accordingly is necessary.
As the definition of sustainable production speaks to how a brand can achieve sustainable goals, the following are the basics of setting sustainable production goals.
- Efficient and required use of energy and resources
- Shifting to the usage of renewable energy sources
- Avoiding harmful emissions into the environment
- Sourcing out sustainably produced raw materials
- Increasing efficient use of water and creating a recyclable structure
What is the main obstacle to Sustainable Production?
Many companies and countries have been making joint efforts to make this happen by building a more sustainable mode of production for companies and on an international scale.
Moving from the already set industrialist mode of production to making sustainable changes in these modes of production comes out with a lot of costs, innovative ideas and a balanced output rather than a decrease in production and revenue.
Sustainable production requires more innovative ideas and strategies than the previous industrialist strategies to create new opportunities in the market, efficient ways of fulfilling human needs and attracting consumers towards the brand.
“Without bold new ideas and system-wide changes, even the relatively low current recycling rates will no longer be met, and our previously recycled materials could now end up in landfills,” Jambeck says. Unfortunately, this also shows the lack of implementation of sustainable practices widely, affecting the small changes happening.
The challenges can perfectly explain this that EU member countries have faced in making new policies and acting on them.
Challenges and objectives of EU policies for sustainable Production: Many countries part of the EU have begun planning for sustainable production. But it isn’t that easy. Many challenges come forward to setting up the manufacturing processes, the distribution units and more. The current industrialized units have a very different mechanism than what requires to ensure sustainable production. As the report said, it requires more new innovative ideas to solve this problem.
The factors that are considered to be the challenges are:
- The pattern of consumption and production in the EU and its member state.
- The lifestyle of its citizen that is depended on the industrialized economy
- The problem in transitioning towards a sustainable production model
- The current trends of modernization are diverted into fast production rather than smart production.
Are Brands even opting out for Sustainable Production?
I cannot stress that the consumers need to connect with the goods and services a brand offers. So if many consumers demand it, the brands will try their best to fulfil the supply gap based on that demand. This is basic market economics. But the degree to which they change and how it takes place is up to the brand.
Many leading companies and brands have started using Sustainability as their market differentiator. In current market scenarios, a good product isn’t enough to win consumer’s favour. From data found in 2020, 77% of consumers are likely to purchase a good from a brand pledged for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Lego, best known for the manufacture of Lego-brand toys, mainly consisting of interlocking plastic bricks, has also changed its production methods into sustainable ones. The brand has partnered with WWF (World Wide Fund) to reduce carbon emissions and promote actions on climate change. Lego Replay is another concept that provides the consumer with a chance to pass on their toys to children who need them. In addition, it has slowly been introducing sustainable packaging and the production of toys with sustainable materials by 2030.
Cheetos is a widely loved brand of corn puff snack made by Frito-Lay. The youths love this brand, and it is predicted to get its sales to rise by 50%. Cheetos has planned many changes in its production method from sourcing sustainably grown potato, whole corn, oats, oranges, palm oil and sugar cane to delivering safe water access to 25 billion people by 2025 and efficient water use for the production.
Mindful actions with analysed planning are very essential for sustainable production.
Sustainable Production is an integral part of ensuring sustainability in the market and within its processes. Therefore, not only on the surface level, but we must understand and change the activities to a more sustainable way from the deeper level.
It is the need of the whole world, and on a large scale, companies and countries have started to make their production changes accordingly.
Want to read more? Try out another one about sustainability.