UC Berkeley Prof Agrees: Green Manufacturing Is Essential to a Viable Business Strategy


Environmental Leader recently posted an article with a theme near and dear to Triple Pundit’s heart: “‘Green’ Manufacturing Should be Part of Your Strategy” (the article’s title). Written by David Dornfeld, Department Head of UC Berkeley’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability, the article emphasizes the importance of green manufacturing in business and commerce and of analyzing businesses holistically (i.e. in their entirety, not just their individual components). It also promises tools for those interested in taking the next step.

The article outlines a theoretical basis for the greening of manufacturing and provides concrete motivation for those in the industry to adopt a more holistic approach (Dornfeld’s definition of sustainability). Dornfeld concludes that, when it comes determining the most sustainable way to balance a system’s input, output, and profit, the best solutions involve examining all components of the process (versus simply trading off between the process’ economic, environmental, and social capital). Dornfeld maintains that manufacturing is a big part of that system.

Dornfeld also lists several concrete reasons industry should care about analyzing manufacturing: more governments are regulating manufacturing and trade; increased efficiency (which CO2 reduction promotes) is beneficial to business; the scarcity of resources necessary for production pose a risk to one’s business; social interest in sustainable manufacturing is increasing; pressure from competitors to green is increasing; and increased green manufacturing has the potential to improve individual businesses and global commerce as a whole.

It appears Dornfeld’s intention is to help manufacturers and businesspersons actually green their manufacturing processes. At the end of the article, he mentions that future posts will give specific instructions on what to do to make a system more sustainable.

Full props to Environmental Leader and to Dornfeld for running the article!

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

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