What is Sustainable Manufacturing?

Companies are becoming more and more aware that they need to reconsider their business strategies in light of climate change and global warming. Considering this, they are aware that social justice and environmental integrity must coexist in order for business viability to be achieved.

So, what is sustainable manufacturing?

In a nutshell, sustainable manufacturing is the production of manufactured goods using ethically sound procedures that reduce their adverse effects on the environment while preserving energy and resources.

It encompasses a variety of action areas, including product, process, technology, and industry, and is focused on improving employee, community, and product safety.

Five reasons for adopting sustainable manufacturing

  1. To enhance operational effectiveness through cost and waste reduction
  2. To strengthen competitive advantage and attract new clients
  3. To safeguard, bolster, and cultivate public trust and brand
  4. To develop a successful, long-term company strategy
  5. To react to regulatory opportunities and restrictions

Why is sustainable manufacturing a vital opportunity?

By 2050, the globe will have used up the equivalent of four Earths’ worth of resources. According to a UN estimate, CO2 emissions must be reduced by almost half by 2030.

A major part of achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be played by sustainable manufacturing. The production sectors are at a crossroads in terms of economic effect and resource use because the industry and manufacturing sectors account for 41% of the global GDP. Businesses must figure out how to use fewer resources while yet remaining competitive and sustainable.

How can you benefit from deploying sustainable manufacturing?

The value of the green market is trillions: By 2030, the four key markets of food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being could each see a US$12 trillion increase as a result of Sustainable Development Goals.

A small investment in utilising Sustainable Development Goals could result in significant savings: According to the UK’s Carbon Trust, most companies may raise total earnings by up to 5% by cutting their energy costs by up to 20% with only a minor investment.

Investors and staff are drawn to companies with a green reputation: Customers, staff members, and investors are all gravitating towards businesses that they see as setting the pace for innovation and having a distinct future vision, companies that place a high priority on corporate social responsibility and sector leaders that prioritise long-term investment plans.

Three questions business leaders should be asking themselves

  1. How can I empower the workforce of the future?
  2. What does it mean to be a responsible business in a digital world?
  3. How can I increase profitability while doing more with less?


  1. Empower your workforce by creating a culture of sustainability awareness within your enterprise and across your value chain.
  2. Place yourself as a responsible business in a digital world by using innovation scenario planning and strategic analysis to go beyond compliance.
  3. Increase your profitability by balancing increased competitiveness and potential new revenues with cost cutting efforts for a more balanced approach.

What are the success pillars of sustainable manufacturing?

Workforce of the future

Retaining expertise from the current workforce enables sustainable experiences that stimulate creativity in prospective employees. You can capture this workforce of the future by offering employees healthier and safer jobs and integrating human and digital skills. Furthermore, working with robots to improve workforce and productivity while keeping people at the centre is essential. It is also important to train qualified workers to run smart factories and programme them and create public-private partnerships and collaborations for the “greater good”.

Despite common fears, new technologies are likely to create more jobs than they replace. Factory executives must embrace this change, encourage their employees to develop new skills, prepare them for jobs of the future, and meet the growing demand for people with advanced technological, social, and cognitive abilities.

Global operations optimization

Process improvement can lessen the strain of creating distinctive consumer experiences while also cutting down on material, time, and energy waste. The key idea is to drive a circular economy to improve upon resource effectiveness, develop new materials and improve material processing systems. It is also important to adopt the 5R approach to achieve “zero waste to landfill” and repair, reuse, refurbish, re-manufacture, and recycle wherever possible to decarbonize energy.

Value network orchestration

Encourage collaboration, transparency, and visibility across the value network to promote distinctive sustainable experiences. The idea here is to deliver digital innovation thanks to IIoT and smart manufacturing, implement a space of trust, transparency and traceability and ensure there is a common approach on sustainable value.

In the real world, the value network is orchestrated so that each member relies on one another to foster growth and increase value. Value network members can consist of external members (e.g., customers) or internal members (e.g., research and development teams). Because you need to be able to coordinate industrial players and connect them fast and efficiently in a very dynamic way, orchestration is essential to value networks.


The necessity of sustainability for business is imperative to manufacturers.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform offers a business and operational framework that tackles the essential components of manufacturing: technology and solutions to drive sustainable innovation and achieve outcomes on a global scale.

Workers must be given the chance to create and cooperate, to execute ideas, and to make informed decisions if manufacturing companies are to succeed. Companies must be sustainable for this to happen. It is the fundamental idea for successfully managing a firm and maximising output for the benefit of the sector, the populace, and the environment.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform offers businesses a once-in-a-lifetime chance to adopt sustainable manufacturing while reimagining their industries through sustainable growth, innovation, and workforce.

Find out more

Get in touch today to find out more about how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can catapult you into the future of sustainable manufacturing.