Sustainable Manufacturing

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Featured Sustainable Manufacturing Tools

A broad cross-section of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and non-governmental organizations has developed tools that businesses can use to improve their sustainability. These tools can provide insight into resource use, benchmark performance against peers, create sustainability goals and action plans, and reduce emissions and wastes throughout facility operations and supply chains. Below is a selection of featured tools from the Sustainable Business Clearinghouse.

Electronics Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)
EPEAT is a searchable global registry for greener electronics, intended for use by purchasers, manufacturers, resellers and others wanting to find and promote environmentally preferable products.
ENERGY STAR Energy Tracking Tool
The ENERGY STAR Energy Tracking Tool (ETT) provides manufacturers with a simple means to track energy use, set baselines, establish energy and emissions reduction goals, and evaluate progress towards achieving goals. It is intended for mid- to small-sized manufacturing companies that may have limited resources and are unable to invest in a custom data tracking system.
EPA Chemical Screening Tool For Exposures & Environmental Releases (ChemSTEER)
ChemSTEER estimates occupational inhalation and dermal exposure to a chemical during industrial and commercial manufacturing, processing, and use operations involving the chemical. The tool also estimates releases of a chemical to air, water, and land that are associated with industrial and commercial manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical.
EPA Lean Manufacturing and Environment Toolkits
Lean is a business model and collection of methods that help eliminate waste while delivering quality products on time and at least cost. EPA has developed several toolkits that show how manufacturers can use Lean methods to reduce environmental wastes while also meeting other goals such as improving product quality, reducing costs, and enhancing customer responsiveness.
General Services Administration (GSA): Sustainable Facilities Tool
The purpose of the Sustainable Facilities Tool is to simplify, for both government and private-sector property managers, sustainable building practices and compare options for renovation projects. The Tool offers useful sustainable guidance for facility managers, procurement professionals, leasing specialists, and project managers.
Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI): Sustainable Development (SD) Planner and Sustainable Development Gateway
GEMI SD Planner and Gateway are designed to help businesses establish baseline performance, assess opportunities, set goals, develop action plans, and evaluate progress towards sustainable development objectives
The Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP): The Equivalence Process
The Equivalence Process (EP) is designed to assist businesses with benchmarking their efforts to improve working and environmental conditions in global supply chains.
Institute for Industrial Productivity's Industrial Efficiency Technology Database (IETD)
The Industrial Efficiency Technology Database is designed to help decision makers in industry identify technologies and measures that improve productivity and profits while reducing energy use and CO2 emissions, and assist in assessing the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency investment options. The database focuses on the cement, iron, and steel sectors as well as on electric motor driven systems, but the databases will be expanded to address the pulp and paper and glass industries.
Life Cycle Assessment: Principles and Practice
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a technique used to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service. EPA’s LCA 101 Document, called “Life Cycle Assessment: Principles and Practice,” provides an introductory overview of LCA along with a description of general uses and major components of the technique. The document is designed for use by companies, federal facilities, industry organizations, and academia and describes how to incorporate life cycle based environmental performance considerations into decision-making processes.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit
The OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit provides a starting point for businesses to improve the efficiency of their production processes and products, enabling them to contribute to sustainable development and green growth. The Toolkit includes an internationally applicable common set of indicators to help businesses measure their environmental performance at the plant or facility level.
Sustainable Manufacturing 101 Module
The Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing 101 Module is a collection of training presentations, or lessons, designed to familiarize companies, in particular small-to-medium-size manufacturers, with key concepts, approaches, strategies, terminology, and regulations related to sustainable manufacturing. The module guides users through various aspects of sustainable manufacturing to help companies identify opportunities for savings and value enhancements throughout the production cycle and supply chain. Lessons include the business case for sustainable manufacturing; finding opportunities for improvement; and deciding on, financing, and implementing projects.

For additional tools and resources, see the Sustainable Business Clearinghouse.