I visited plants across the United States in 2013 from a variety of different industries, but two themes running through all of them was the need for innovation and for sustainability.
American manufacturing will only survive if it looks continuously for new and better ways to produce its products, and if it manufactures products that can stay ahead of relentless global competition.
In that effort to innovate, sustainability plays an increasingly important role. It’s not just a matter of installing LED lights or putting solar panels on the roof. It’s evolving operations so that they produce products in a manner that uses the least resources and contributes to a public reputation of corporate responsibility. And it’s thinking deeply about the issues such as water scarcity that are affecting billions of people and coming up with products to address those issues.
Here are links to 10 articles that showcase some of the ideas manufacturers were applying to be more innovative and sustainable in 2013. Hopefully they'll offer some inspiration for new ideas you'll put into practice in 2014 and beyond.
- Saving the World One Motor at a Time
- MIT – To Sustain Innovation, Manufacture
- How Sustainability is Sparking Innovation
- Leading Innovation
- A Net Gain for Sustainable Manufacturing
- Netting a More Sustainable Supply Chain
- Schneider Electric’s Formula for Growth
- Milliken Ramps Up its Innovation Efforts
- Sustainability Finds a Home on Wall Street
- Expanding Beyond the US Market