Climate change and our impact on the planet are in sharp focus. The United Nations describes climate change as one of the biggest challenges of our time.
Whatever our priorities, the way we live, what we buy and how things are manufactured is under increasing focus in relation to the impacts on the climate and environment.
Focusing on manufacturing; to be able to quantify the impacts we must first understand what and where they are. It is also important to acknowledge that for many companies, the indirect contributions are where the most significant impacts are.
These indirect impacts, (which are typically generated up the product value chain) is where many of the issues are often found. The bigger problems are related to raw material extraction and processing where there can be significant effects from emissions, greenhouse gases, land impact, solid waste, water consumption and pollution. The Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) produced by the Kering group shows a good visualisation of this.
The problems may be significant but there are solutions that can positively contribute to a reduction in climate change. For a company, this means action at all points of the value chain and the list below provides useful guidance.
Mitigate climate change
Ten useful things you will need on your sustainability journey
- Full commitment from the leadership team
- A detailed understanding of your product and material supply chain
- Understand the materials used to manufacture your products
- Understand where your raw materials and products are manufactured and who is involved
- Understand how your products are manufactured, and the processes and inputs involved
- Understand the chemicals used in your products, the risks and where they are from
- What are the outputs from the manufacturing process – liquid, air and solid wastes
- How are the products packed and shipped internally and externally to the consumer
- Are there any impacts during use?
- What are the disposal routes post-use and can materials be re-used, recycled or broken down
Five useful services that can help you on your sustainability journey
- Materiality assessment
- Supply chain mapping services
- Air, water, energy, waste assessments and testing
- Chemical management and screening
- Life cycle assessment