Iowa Manufacturers Focus on Eco-Friendly Goals

If you are in the Iowa manufacturing industry, you might have been hearing about its newest focus on eco-friendly efforts.

In this fall 2022 Iowa Manufacturing article, it states that “Making a conscious effort to reduce errors and limit waste not only saves money on material costs, it helps out the planet too. In fact, many companies are shifting their focus toward eco-friendly goals.”

5 Eco-Friendly Practices

But, what can you do to incorporate this trend into your company without upsetting current practices? Here are five options.

  1. Energy Efficiency: Implement energy-efficient practices, such as using LED lighting, optimizing HVAC systems, and upgrading to energy-efficient equipment. This not only helps the environment but also reduces energy costs for your company.
  2. Waste Reduction: Implement a waste reduction program that involves reducing, reusing, and recycling materials. This could include things like reducing packaging waste, using recycled materials in production processes, and recycling waste materials from the manufacturing process.
  3. Water Conservation: Implement water-saving measures, such as installing low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads. You can also consider collecting and reusing rainwater for irrigation or other non-potable uses.
  4. Sustainable Supply Chain: Consider the environmental impact of your supply chain and look for ways to reduce it. This could include sourcing materials from environmentally-friendly suppliers, reducing transportation emissions by using more local suppliers, or using more environmentally-friendly transportation methods.
  5. Employee Engagement: Encourage your employees to become involved in eco-friendly initiatives. Offer training and resources to help them understand the importance of environmental sustainability, and make it a priority in your company culture. This not only helps the environment, but it also helps to create a positive work environment for your employees.

Who’s doing this?

One example is International Paper’s “Vision 2030” initiative, in which the company aims to achieve a variety of community and environmental targets. Sustainability goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35%, reducing water use by 25%, and sourcing from 100% sustainably managed forests and recovered fiber.

Gretchen Spear, regional government relations manager at International Paper, said “Our Cedar Rapids paper mill is the largest 100% recycled paper mill in the Americas. We are diverting 1.1 million tons of paper and cardboard boxes from landfills annually.”

Another example is from Scott Walter, president and CEO of EFCO Corp. in Des Moines. He said his company is trying to eliminate waste and more fully utilize their assets. He said the company is “currently using about 85% renewable energy in manufacturing its products, and is hoping to increase that percentage.”

Koch Fertilizer's Fort Dodge, Iowa, strives to create more value, using fewer resources than the day before. They do it through constant improvement and innovation and by managing their resources in a way that benefits its customers, employees, partners, community members, and society. Their five pillars include innovation, energy efficiency, air quality, water, and responsible resource management. “We’re using smart software in logistics to improve environmental performance,” states the website.

Need Help?

Making an effort to save money on material costs is a win-win for manufacturers. If you’re looking for ways to make your company eco-friendly, while saving on costs, reach out to us. We’ve been helping Iowa manufacturers and distributors for more than 7 decades and would love to help you too.