Full 71% of Manufacturing Executives Believe the cost of Greening Manufacturing is Getting Lower, and the Potential Profits Higher

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EFT Research recently surveyed over 300 North American manufacturing, operations and supply chain executives to establish where their greening efforts are being focused, how they're being managed and financed, and how the outlook for eco-products is changing. The resulting 'Green Manufacturing: Adoption & Implementation Report' revealed that the corporate mindset around environmental initiatives is changing, and the need to invest in innovative products and new technologies is growing.

With 77% of manufacturing executives in agreement that energy prices will rise significantly next year, the focus of operations budgets is turning sharply towards how to cut the dependence on oil. With this in mind, EFT asked respondents to pinpoint what real projects they are investing in, what the challenges and barriers have been, and where they are seeing an ROI.

The timely industry report revealed that the vast majority of respondents, 95%, agree that green manufacturing will continue to expand. Furthermore, 66% believe there to be a market for more expensive and greener products in their industry. And it's not just the increased profits that are driving green initiatives - 43% of respondents report that environmental imperatives have resulted in improved efficiency and product quality for their operation.

So what are they doing to achieve these encouragingly positive results? The most popular choice, that of 65% of respondents, was investing in recycling and reuse programs. Additionally water reduction programs (58%), continuous improvement (54%), energy management (50%), environmental management (46%), materials management (36%), establishing a corporate green team (33%), and supplier management (32%) are all reported to be making manufacturing leaner, greener and more profitable.

What's pushing manufacturers to adopt green initiatives where once there was such reluctance to invest? According to the survey, 64% of executives expect green initiatives to further their overall corporate sustainability strategy and vision, 62% see green initiatives as a good response to customer interest in environmentally friendly products and services, and 51% feel they are improving their public reputation. On the operations side, 52% noted cost reduction as a key benefit, and 47% saw improved efficiency.

Katharine O'Reilly, EFT's Senior Vice President of Environmental Research, suggests that it's the change in the attitude of manufacturing executives that is the most promising change. "When asked how they view green manufacturing initiatives, 84% told us that they see them as part of an overall optimization strategy. This marks a major sea change, and implies that environmntal programs are becoming part of the standard arsenal of strategies employed to boost innovation and optimize operations." Indeed, 96% of executives agree that environmental initiatives and traditional business objectives were far from mutually exclusive, and can and should be combined to move businesses forward.

To read the full results of the survey, including information on environmental regulations faced, environmental project implementation and progress, energy efficiency investments, customer demands for environmental data, and manufacturing carbon footprint measurememt, download the full 32pg. report for free at http://events.eyefortransport.com/manufacturing/free_report.shtml
EFT conducted the survey to celebrate the launch of its Green Manufacturing - Sustainable Supply Chain Summit being held in San Francisco on October 15-17, 2008. Full details including the agenda and speaker list can be found at http://www.eft.com/SustainableSC

For more information, contact:
Katharine O'Reilly
SVP Environmental Research
EFT Research
Tel: 1 800 814 3459 ext 329 (US toll free) or +44 (0)20 7375 7207
Email: koreilly(at)eft.com

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Katharine O'Reilly
EFT Research
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