In today’s market, a business that doesn’t account for sustainability, through brand ethos, business strategy and day-to-day activities, is a business that risks losing its value, reputation and profitability.
Why do businesses need to consider sustainability?
With 77% of businesses in Europe executing sustainability reports, it’s clear that motivation to examine environmental impact is growing. Other countries such as China, Russia, India and North Korea still continue to develop their economy without assessing what environmental risks can be reduced or remediated.
Companies in the UK are compelled by their government to incorporate acts of protection for our environment. From rules on water quality, clean air and nature reservation to opting for more organic products, reusing materials and transforming production processes. Manufacturers in particular are leading the way to a more sustainable future by opting for more energy-efficient processes and reducing hazardous waste.
Companies are taking a big-picture approach to look at the load they place on the environment. Gathering insight to strategically account for the longevity of their production alterations and the impact of their product portfolio.
As consumers become more aware of sustainability issues, the environment has become a key criterion in their buying decisions. In 2020, customer trends revealed that sustainability was the main consideration when making purchasing decisions.
The same can be said for working with other businesses too. Decision makers and stakeholders are becoming increasingly concerned with who they partner with. Marketing, innovation and technology immerse businesses in a new universe where brand identity is crucial. Businesses want to work strictly with other businesses that match their values, missions and goals.
Sustainability is at the forefront of innovation
Given that sustainability has a significant effect on business reputation, it is a core consideration for the chemical industry as it continues to develop. Businesses are continually questioning how they can make their processes more environmentally friendly.
An entirely new business sector has grown up around this approach, with many companies outsourcing their sustainability-driven business transformations to third-party organisations.AM Technology is no exception, with many manufacturing companies across the chemical and pharmaceutical industries looking to incorporate continuous flow technology into their long-term sustainability strategy.
We’re also no stranger to innovation and technological advancements as continuous flow rapidly evolves the chemical manufacturing sector. The technological transitions we’ve facilitated from batch processes to continually active flows have seen some highly innovative operation units enter the sector. All of these work towards a more sustainable future in one way or another. A common trend we've seen is clients aiming to achieve local supply chains. Reducing the overall and long-term shipping miles of entire manufacturing companies means we play a part in a much wider reduction of carbon emissions.
We recently conducted a cost-benefit analysis on behalf of a customer who had recently chosen to implement continuous manufacturing. It showed that for their process, moving from batch production to flow resulted in a reduction in peak heating requirements that was 27 times lower than previously required. The reactor also had a much smaller footprint.
Peak energy reduction to this extent has a positive effect on the wider plant design, for instance, steam generators require much lower power, not to mention a smaller reactor footprint reduces the plant size which leads to decreased HVAC requirements. All these factors equate to a more energy-efficient, sustainable plant.
Facilitating sustainable choices for employees
Along with planet and profits, people are one of the three main pillars of corporate sustainability. Businesses are responsible not only for their business outputs that contribute to environmental issues, but they also need to enable their employees and customers to make more sustainable choices too.
Implementing ways in which your employees can be responsible for their own environmental impact, even at work, is a major contributor to low staff turnover and improved social satisfaction in the workplace. But recognising opportunities to give employees sustainable choices at work can be difficult. Here are some ways we’re currently raising awareness of sustainability in our team.
AM Technology recently signed up for the Octopus Electric Vehicle Salary Sacrifice scheme. Individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the danger that emissions from petrol/diesel vehicles can cause to our environment. Therefore, we pushed to make brand-new electric vehicles readily available to our staff.
The same can be said for when our team needs to travel to global locations. For example, for our recent journey to Germany for ACHEMA 2022, AM Technology paid to offset the carbon on the staff flights required. In addition, we are now using digital rather than physical marketing collateral to minimise the environmental impact of production and shipping. As well as sourcing mindful freebies! You can still get your hands on AM Technology pens, but now they’re made from 40% wheat waste.
Regulations in the Chemical industry that protect the environment
The optimism that regulations and transformative solutions have on the chemical industry has built a sense of hope for increased present-day sustainable decisions that protect the next generation of businesses.
Green chemistry principles in particular are a framework that can contribute to companies fulfilling their REACH obligations. The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), legislation aims to prevent hazardous and toxic materials from entering our environment. It’s a vital feature of the compliance landscape for organisations which manufacture, import, distribute or sell chemicals.
Continuous flow solutions, including Coflore, already address numerous principles of green chemistry. From atom economy to safer chemistry. Opting for continuous-flow manufacturing is a way that businesses can ensure a high level of sustainable production.
All in all, businesses are a vital component in building a more sustainable future, driven by consumer concern around sustainability. Enlightened and forward-thinking businesses are actively taking steps to become more environmentally friendly. At AM Technology it is our mission to assist other businesses in working towards more sustainable, internal chemical processes, as well as make more sustainable choices ourselves.
"The energy crisis is now front and centre in our minds, with the unit price of gas and electricity skyrocketing due to global events. Now, more than ever, both ourselves and our customers are looking for more energy-efficient solutions. Continuous manufacturing is one such step towards reducing our client's carbon footprints.
At AM Technology, initiatives such as our EV scheme, carpool-to-work scheme and other small changes all go a long way to helping reduce the environmental impact of our own work too."