Manufacturers are finding that “going green” can mean big savings

The manufacturing industry has never had a glamorous public image, and to most people, it is not considered a “green” business category.

However, some of the largest manufacturers in metro Milwaukee are finding that it pays to go green. Companies such as Quad/Graphics, Perlick Corp, XTen Industries Dueco Inc. and GE Healthcare have found ways to dramatically reduce their energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint, saving some of them millions of dollars per year in the process.

“Going green” ties into the central tenets of lean manufacturing, said Doug Fisher, assistant professor and director of the Center for Supply Chain Management at Marquette University.

“Lean is, at its most fundamental level, taking waste out of the (production) system,” he said. “When a company makes the leap into green and sustainable practices, there are some immediate linkages. It is efficiency, inventory reduction, taking slack out of the system and eliminating unnecessary action. You’re producing more with less, using less raw materials, producing less waste with a more efficient output.”

To read more in the latest issue of BizTimes Milwaukee, click here.


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