Analysing Environmental Processes for Products From Beginning to End
An often overlooked function that can be performed by a company seeking to improve upon its environmental impact is to analyse processes and procedures for a product right through the various stages of its production cycle, from the raw materials used through its disposal and potential to be reused or recycled.
This has many advantages, most notably getting the company to think about each stage in detail with regards to how it does, or could potentially, affect the environment in a negative way. By focusing on the individual areas rather than merely trying to think about the product as a whole, it allows for a much greater chance of changes and amendments being made and introduced in order to reduce adverse consequences for the environment and the planet.
Analysing various stages of a product's manufacture, usage and disposal also allows a manufacturer to compare two or more potential products before production commences. By doing so, they can identify potential problem areas which may be present for one/some but not on others, and is likely to influence their decision regarding which new product to launch. By putting in the research now, the company can save themselves a great deal of financial, legal and reputational damage in the future if there were to be an accident or negative impact which causes environmental damage at a later date.
These potential issues which can have an environmental impact can be many and varied and include possible COSHH risks during the manufacturing process, taking a long time to degrade when disposed of, one product requiring a significant amount of factory space compared to another which can mean the subsequent destruction of animal habitat for a new building, toxic emissions from the transportation of raw materials or semi-finished products between processing stages, and many more.