How manufacturing and sustainability go hand in hand

The environment is top of mind for many people and organisations. Which is fortunate: the (much-discussed) climate change is already referred to as climate crisis instead, which proves the point. The urgency of action got reinforced by the recently published climate report by IPCC (1).

The first statement in this alarming report, about the current state of the climate, confirms that it “(…) is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land” (2). This makes it now acute, for us as humans, to counteract this. The clock is ticking, not only for future generations, but also for our own. Therefore, every company and every individual (that is able to do so), should do their part to together achieve the new climate targets, for 2030 (next milestone) and after.

For businesses, embracing sustainability and climate-friendly practices typically falls under the umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR strategies aim to strike a balance between the three P’s: People, Planet, and Profit. This means considering social or societal interests, economic interests, and ecological interests as equally vital components of the corporate strategy.

The manufacturing industry and CSR

The manufacturing industry is a rapidly and continuously developing sector. This is not just in terms of technology, but also in terms of business practices. And this is necessary, because in 2019, 31% of the total amount of greenhouse gases was emitted by industry (3). Manufacturing belongs to industry; hence, this sector’s efforts can be of great contribution fighting global warming. But, how to action this and how to incorporate sustainability into your business strategy?

First of all, it is important to realise that, contrary to popular believe, a sustainable and environmentally friendly business strategy does not necessary need to cost money. Creating positive change within their business practices and making their supply chain more sustainable, and communicating this into the market, can actually create a competitive advantage.

The value of environmental sustainability

A 2019 study found that almost 40% of millennials, which are employees who are roughly born between 1980 and 1995, chose a job because of environmental sustainability. Moreover, 70% indicated that a robust sustainability plan would influence their decision to stay with the company. Some would even accept lower compensation if they believed they were making a positive impact on the environment and their community.

Not surprisingly, the same principle applies to customers. Sustainability is now a driver of purchase decisions in both B2C and B2B industries. A global study by market research firm Nielsen found that two thirds of the world’s consumers would be willing to spend more on sustainable products (4). This demonstrates that incorporating sustainability into your corporate strategy will pay off.

What does a sustainable business model look like?

A sustainable business model creates and delivers value for all its stakeholders without relying on practices that drain more resources than it provides. It doesn’t deplete natural resources to the point it runs out, and nor does it fuel social and economic problems that would eventually become impossible to manage. Future-proof and sustainable companies are the ones that can adapt and thrive through the challenges ahead by aligning with the most pressing concerns of today, and tomorrow.

In conclusion, the harmonious relationship between manufacturing and sustainability is becoming increasingly vital. Sustainability is no longer a mere ethical commitment; it is a sound business strategy. By integrating sustainable practices, manufacturing companies can not only mitigate their impact on the environment, but also secure a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing world. Millennial employees and environmentally conscious customers are driving this change, making it a wise choice for businesses to embrace sustainability and incorporate it into their core strategies.


(1) https://nos.nl/collectie/13871/artikel/2393291-conclusies-reacties-de-achtergrond-het-ipcc-rapport-in-een-notendop
(2) https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_SPM.pdf
(3) https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/dossier/dossier-broeikasgassen/hoofdcategorieen/welke-sectoren-stoten-broeikasgassen-uit-
(4) https://ashtonmanufacturing.com.au/66-of-consumers-willing-to-pay-more-for-sustainable-goods-nielsen-report-reveals/

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Annemiek Rouchou-Bloemenkamp


Annemiek is a structured and precision-driven communications professional who has a wide range of communications-driven talents. Having obtained a Bachelor’s in International Business Administration, she gained experience in the telecommunications and beauty industries within the region of Enschede, developing into a skilled and knowledgeable professional specialising in marketing, communication, and education.