Over 300 North American manufacturing, operations and supply chain executives were asked to reveal where their greening efforts are being focused, how they're being managed and financed, and how the outlook for eco-products is changing.
The survey, conducted by EFT Research, discovered that the corporate mindset around environmental initiatives is changing, and the need to invest in innovative products and new technologies is growing.
With 77% of manufacturing executives in agreement that energy prices will rise significantly next ear, the focus of operations budgets is turning sharply towards how to cut the dependence on oil. With this in mind, EFT asked respondents to pinpoint what real projects they are investing in, what the challenges and barriers have been, and where they are seeing an ROI. The report revealed that the vast majority of respondents, 95%, agree ththat green manufacturing will continue to expand.
Furthermore, 66% believe there to be a market for more expensive and greener products in their industry. The finding showed that it's not just the increased profits that are driving green initiatives -- 43% of respondents report that environmental imperatives have resulted in improved efficiency and product quality for their operation.
To achieve results from green efforts 65% of respondents were investing in recycling and reuse programs. Additionally water reduction programs (58%), continuous improvement (54%), energy management (50%), environmental management (46%), materials management (36%), establishing a corporate green team (33%), and supplier management (32%) are all being used to make manufacturing leaner, greener and more profitable.
On the operations side, 52% noted cost reduction as a key benefit, and 47% saw improved efficiency.
"When asked how they view green manufacturing initiatives, 84% told us that they see them as part of an overall optimization strategy. This marks a major sea change, and implies that environmntal programs are becoming part of the standard arsenal of strategies employed to boost innovation and optimize operations," commented Katharine O'Reilly, EFT's Senior Vice President of Environmental Research.
Indeed, 96% of executives agree that environmental initiatives and traditional business objectives were far from mutually exclusive, and can and should be combined to move businesses forward.
To view the report visit
EFT conducted the survey to celebrate the launch of its Green Manufacturing - Sustainable Supply Chain Summit being held in San Francisco on October 15-17, 2008. Full details including the agenda and speaker list can be found at www.eft.com/SustainableSC