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Decarbonizing Light Manufacturing Industries in a Pinch

by

SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers)


Summary

Manufacturing is moving toward a cleaner and greener future. Figuring out a way to capitalize on waste heat will be instrumental for most manufacturers to significantly reduce their carbon footprint.

In a world where energy prices are rising and climate concerns continue to mount, manufacturers can no longer sit on the sidelines and hope the energy crisis will go away. It won’t anytime soon, and pressure is increasing for organizations that have pledged net-zero emissions to provide “real-zero” answers.

It’s clear we are moving quickly toward a cleaner, greener future and those who don’t act soon will be left behind. However, many companies have hesitated to act because of the false assumption that going green means “direct electric,” which is an expensive endeavor at this time. But decarbonizing does not have to be an either/or initiative, choosing between decarbonization or profitability.

There is a better way to net zero, one that can benefit an organization’s bottom line if done right. The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently released its “Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap”—a comprehensive report identifying four key pathways to reduce industrial emissions in American manufacturing. The report singles out energy efficiency as “the most cost-effective option for near-term reductions of greenhouse gas emission,” highlighting the importance of software-driven, smart manufacturing systems and advanced data analytics that improve productivity related to energy use.

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