Sustainable Manufacturing

sustainable development

What Is Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is economic growth which meets the needs of the present without damaging the lives of future generations. In other words, it doesn’t cause so much damage that people in the future might not be able to live healthy lives. It also means that we don’t destroy so much of the natural world that other […]

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India Uses Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) to Clean the Ganges River

India’s government has lately set a 3-year target to rejuvenate the River Ganges, formulating an integrated plan for the use of new technologies to solve the water pollution crisis. Known as the “Namaami Gange” or “Clean Ganga” project, optimism is high for cleaning up the Holy River Ganga, as it is known and revered by

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Bad Bad Packaging

I can’t help myself! I review the shopping venues shelves, such as my local supermarket and Walmart, to investigate what manufacturers are doing to make the packaging of their products more sustainable. I have to admit that I focus on the negative. I really notice the packaging tragedies, and cringe to see just how bad

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Eco-manufacturing: how to make more things with less energy

Sustainable manufacturing has gained significant importance in the last few years. Due to the advances that have taken place in the last few decades, it is now easier for industries to shift the manufacturing process towards green machinery. Industrial units can be modified into sustainable models that are less damaging to the environment. An example

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The Evolution of Planned Obsolescence: Innovation’s Litter – Part 7

Part 7 in a series on planned obsolescence Too much of a good thing will sometimes get dressed for the party wearing the wrong clothes. The most significant difficulty with disposable plastic has nothing to do with its practicality or usefulness – as it happens to be remarkably useful in a stunning number of formulations

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Planned Obsolescence and the Bic Effect – Part 6

In short order the name of Bic was equated with the rising popularity of inexpensive disposable products – a n emerging trend. The list of wares ran the gamut, from razors to disposable cameras. Unlike Brooke Stevens’ adage involving a product that was newer and slightly better, the world of disposables simply involved low cost and the ability to produce at a massive scale.

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Unplanned Obsolescence & the Texas Back Roads: Part 5

Best intentions aside, there is no economy here, just the imagination that someone brushed on canvas some time ago. In one quaint town, the doors of the small restaurant are locked shut; it is the same at the hardware store and gas station on the corner. The remaining clothing store with an “Open” sign in the window must be run by wealthy hobbyists in need of a write off or by one of the few churches that’s still open.

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The Future of Green: Innovations That Promote Economic Engagement

Fleet companies face challenges that go beyond what the average car owner sees. The automotive landscape changes completely when managing more than one vehicle. Those in charge of a fleet must balance fuel efficiency, environmental responsibility and capital expenditure for multiple cars. Economic innovations have stepped up to help fleets stay true to the current

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Planned Obsolescence & the Bubble That Burst: Part 4

By the time this century hit, real estate was now considered by many to be a great short-term play that could yield as much as 10 or 20 percent. Commonplace homes and condominiums, priced from $125,000 to $150,000, were said to return tidy profits in less than two years. No muss, no fuss; just let inflating prices happen. All one needed to do was buy a ticket on the real estate train and make sure they were on board.

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Moore’s Law & Planned Obsolescence Construct a Technology Traffic Jam: Part 3

At that time, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, a man donning a pair of visionary goggles and a remarkable engineering aptitude, boldly predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double about every two years. His prediction turned out to be accurate – even if few understood what he was saying at the time – and came to be known as Moore’s Law.

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Women in Focus Week, Day 2! Meet the Top Women Sustainable CEOs: Eileen Fisher

This week, the Important Media Network has committed to highlighting some of the women that are making the world a better place. At Inspired Economist, we thought we’d take part by profiling a great sustainable woman CEO every day this week. See yesterday’s post on Kim Jordan, CEO of New Belgium Brewing, then check in each day

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You Think You Might start a Green Business?

Our aching planet just needs you to be thoughtful as you plow into your next venture. If you are, everyone wins, and wins sustainably into the indefinite future. A sustainable business considers the impacts of every facet of its operation and then attempts to address each, from paper consumption to human resources, in a way

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Fair Trade USA Tackles Fashion and Cotton Industry

While doing laundry, we read our clothing labels – “wash in cold water”and “tumble dry low”. But do we pay attention to the “made in…” labels such as Made in India or Made in Peru? What does that actually mean? And where is the transparency? Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA) hopes to shed light

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P&G to Use Sugarcane-Based Plastic Packaging for Beauty Brands

Earlier this month, Proctor & Gamble announced plans to use renewable, sustainable, sugarcane-based plastic for packaging on its Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and Max Factor brands. I’m happy to see that P&G did its research and chose not to use corn-based plastic. Corn-based plastic has been all the rage lately and can be found in everything

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Minimum Impact Logging?

Feller-gatherer harvesting trees in the FSC- and SFI-certified forests of the Adirondacks for Finch Paper Recently, I blogged about a trip I made to Finch Paper in Glens Falls, NY, where I got to see sustainable forestry and integrated, environmentally sensitive papermaking in action. One of the most powerful images in my mind from the

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Do Plastic Envelopes Undermine a Green Mailing?

Recently, I was privileged to participate on a judging panel in an international printing contest. One of the categories was environmental printing. In that category, an entrant had submitted a very interesting postcard made of 100% recycled paper and containing seeds in the paper fiber, enabling the postcard to be planted. The message was environmental,

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What’s Your Green Resolution for 2010?

It’s the time of year when people are making resolutions to lose weight, better manage their finances, better manage their anger, and myriad other things. Is increasing your commitment to environmental sustainability on that list? As I wrote in my very first post for The Inspired Economist in the fall of 2008, the neat thing

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Big Important Speeches and Little Breakout Groups at BSR

No matter who attends the BSR conference, we always seem to find a balance between the people who legitimately wish to improve sustainability, not just for their company but the planet, and those who set out to further their profits by subtle or blatant greenwashing. During the Thursday morning breakfast, Zhang Yue, chairman and CEO

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Mass Customization’s Role in a Sustainable Economy

Mass production has been used since the industrial revolution as a means of creating large quantities of standardized products. It has many advantages over one-at-a-time production. It reduces coast and provide interchangeable parts.  Its disadvantages are that it can over produce and it dehumanizes labor. Mass production will often continue to build inventory in spite

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GE To Open $100 Million Sodium Battery Plant In NY

GE’s hybrid locomotive battery GE partners with New York state to create a $ 100 million manufacturing facility for a new sodium based battery technology in the Capital region. Who imagined that ordinary table salt could be the secret to storing energy? GE is once again bringing the notion of a technology based economy home,

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Ford Invests $550 Million to Build Small Cars and Electric Vehicles

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/M_N-_rZ642s&hl=en&fs=1] Kelly Blue Book Video Review of the Ford Focus Earlier this week, Ford announced that they are retooling their manufacturing facility in Michigan, which previously built SUVs, to now produce the small and fuel-efficient Ford Focus in 2010, and the battery-electric Ford Focus by 2011. With this investment of $550 million worth, Ford continues

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