As BedTimes reported, last fall the Mattress Recycling Council launched the Sleep Products Sustainability Program, an initiative to help mattress manufacturers reduce waste and energy consumption. The purpose of SP2 is to make operations more efficient and reduce costs. (See “Reduce Waste, Save Money” from the October 2019 issue of BedTimes.) As the article explains, the voluntary program was created to help foster the bedding industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
As SP2 kicks into gear and discussions about the health of the planet intensify, our editors decided to look into what constitutes sustainable manufacturing and how it affects our industry.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sustainable manufacturing is “the creation of manufactured products through economically sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. (It) also enhances employee, community and product safety.” Sustainable manufacturing can improve cost effectiveness by improving efficiencies, reducing manufacturing time, and conserving water and other natural resources. Moreover, many consumers now are cognizant of and shop for products that don’t harm or pollute the earth.
Of course, sustainable manufacturing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. There are many avenues to take. Here are a few of the best practices companies are adopting:
- The improvement of operational efficiencies, production and long-term viability by reducing time, costs and waste
- End-of-life recycling, in which waste is transformed into revenue and jobs by turning discarded materials into new products
- The conservation of natural resources, such as water, and making sure those resources won’t contaminate the environment when they are released from a factory
- The reliance on renewable energy to curb the use of fossil fuels
- The elevation of your brand by letting the public know the measures you are taking to operate a more environmentally responsible company while saving consumers money.
In the coming month, BedTimes will publish a series of articles about the sustainable practices and strategies bedding manufacturers and suppliers are embracing and implementing, as well as what they mean for the mattress industry.
What is your company doing to work toward a more sustainable future? Give me a call (336-500-3816), email me ([email protected]) to share your company’s experiences. I look forward to hearing from you.