Engineering companies make arguably one of the largest impacts on the environment than many other industries. These companies constantly use raw materials, and produce harmful waste during their processes. However, some are taking the steps towards being more environmentally friendly, and by following these tips you too can go green.
Perform an energy audit
This is a vital first step towards a greener company. Performing an energy audit allows you to find which areas of your company may be using too much energy for their processes, and devise a plan on how to curtail this energy usage. You should look out for damaged machinery that may be a power drain or for daily equipment that may need to be replaced.
Use caulking or sealant to fix leaks from the outside, which may cause your staff to put the temperature up and use more electricity. Replace old HVAC filters, and use programmable thermostats to reduce energy waste and save money. You should also replace incandescent bulbs with CFL fixtures.
Try renewable power generation
All engineering companies need some form of power in order to use their equipment, but at such large amounts, this can cause significant damage to the environment and ozone layer. Renewable power generation comes in many forms, including wind, solar (photovoltaic and thermal), biofuels, hydro, wave harvesting and more.
If implementing this yourself is too difficult, you could look to consult with a company who offers engineering solutions, such as Babcock International. The renewable power usage does not have to be solely for the production section of your company, and can be used for simple processes such as powering offices or small machinery.
An engineering company has several processes in place for manufacturing their products, almost all of which require machinery – all of which use electricity. To minimise this usage and to optimise your processes, you could use an automated system. For welding, robotics has made a huge impact on the efficiency of the process, and can decrease the amount of electricity used by the company.
Some of the systems that would benefit from being automated include the scale and weighing system, the furnace reactor and the switching station. By making these automated, you will reduce the number of employees on the floor who are at risk from the tasks as well as reduce the amount of electricity you use on a daily basis.
Recycle post-industrial waste
If your company has a high output of post-industrial waste, you should look for sustainable recycling methods for this. You could implement a system of reusing offcut materials for future projects, such as melting down scrap metal pieces into metal sheeting, or you could initiate a program that recycles these waste products for other uses.
If you create products such as adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings, you should seriously consider a recycling programme for your post-industrial waste. You could reform this waste into plastic products for the public, creating a use for your waste rather than simply disposing of it.
Conserving water is a major way to contribute to saving the environment. Perform a water audit, allowing you to find equipment that is leaking or that may be using too much water for its processes. Fix all leaking taps or equipment that is damaged and replace water-draining machinery with more economical and eco-friendly options.
Water saving also applies to the waste output of the factory. Implementing a grey water catchment for watering the landscape around the company property is a good way to reuse water that is still suitable for such uses, and installing a rainwater catchment for use in the factory is also ecological. This water may not be enough for the processes, but it can be used for flushing worker’s toilets and washing the floors.
Reduce chemical usage
Many engineering companies use chemicals in their manufacturing processes, which have negative impacts on the environment. If possible, you should try to reduce the amount of chemicals used in your manufacturing processes, or switch to using environmentally-friendly products instead. It may be a difficult change at first but the implications of using little to no harmful chemicals are highly positive for the environment.
If using chemicals is an unavoidable part of your processes, be sure to filter the water that leaves your company before it reaches its final point, in order to get rid of as much of these chemicals as possible You could also implement a wastewater recycling system, so the chemically treated water does not reach the environment at all.
Engineering companies do not have to contribute negatively to the environment anymore. With simple but impactful changes, you will be able to help change the future of our world for generations to come, while still maintaining production value and turning a profit. Go green today and see what difference you can make.