Happy Earth Day. I must say that the media blitz on the Green America lately cannot be avoided. The weather is nicer in most of the country and people are outside enjoying the fresh air. This season, this year, after this Earth Day will be one of the greatest tests of how serious Americans really are about environmental issues. A huge spike in eco awareness among our population could lead to a huge spike in alternative ways to deal with waste, energy, and personal decisions.

 

The manufacturing sector should be ready for the type of overhaul that will surely come in the next few years. The average American home will look different and the most glaring difference would be what today is called eco-friendly practices. The Green Collar Economy is a place where today’s eco friendly practices are commonplace. Automatic givens in every community.

 

Starwood hotels is working on an experimental earth friendly hotel where they try out the following green features:

 

Energy star appliances

Energy efficient light bulbs

water saving faucets and fixtures

 

Soap dispenser in the shower

Low toxicity paint

Wood bed frames from certified forests

Couch cusions made from soy

Recycle bins

Low toxicity paint

Recycled carpet

 

The first three save Starwood money and possibly even the consumer and some might argue that the soap dispenser saves money too. The rest are just sustainable ways to give us the things we need, including comfort and luxury. It also shows how its important not to waste anything. Manufacturers must take into consideration that almost everything can be recycled and lean practices have been leading the way to zero waste for years.

 

The final point I want to leave you with is that the above green features should and will be standard features in the average American home (and extended stay hotels) soon. Just make sure you reuse the out of date stuff in the right way.

          Enertech could give you 47 million reasons why waste to green renewable energy might be a good industry to be in. They take waste water sludge and convert it into energy, using a patented system called SlurryCarb.

          This is almost along the lines of Waste Management’s Landfill to Energy Projects or the few new livestock manure to energy projects. Then there’s the compost to energy project in Greentown.

 

          Even though society is moving toward sustainable practices and will greatly cut overall water usage, our population continues to grow rapidly. We will still create some waste, enough to allow Enertech, and other sludge to energy converters, to continue doing business.

          By converting waste to energy, renewable energy takes on a new meaning. We are able to conduct business (please shareholders) and grow our economy (build stronger communities). As opposed to cutting down on all our workloads (losing jobs) and turning into minimalists (lack enjoying luxury).

          At some point everyone will agree that we are literally throwing money away when we burn or dump landfills and it has been made possible by innovations in technology. Now these entrepreneurs, who predict high energy production, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, have the responsibility to prove that it can be done.

   

          If they do, they have won competitive advantage. Enertech already has a competitive advantage because of the SlurryCarb patent.

          On March 13, I wrote about green procurement and commented on Paradigm Group and Harry Brix. Well apparently Mr. Brix has been getting more green manufacturing media play and was cited in a Manufacturing Business Technology article three days ago. He’s quoted as saying that green manufacturing might just be a fad like the 70s and then 90s. However, Nabil Nasr, Ph.D.,The director of the Center for Manufacturing Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology disagrees.

Nasr cites the numbers from a survey which found:

“only 9 percent of respondents prioritized reduction of their carbon footprint in 2007. When asked why, 72 percent of the respondents said they had other priorities to address first, 15 percent said the process is too costly, and 8 percent said they didn’t know how to do it.”

 So that’s what I am going to set out to do. It’s actually what I’ve been doing for the past couple months. Prove that the cost of the process is becoming increasingly easier to implement and can reap even bigger profits; Teach how to find the resources and learn how to make the right moves; And while other priorities may take precedent, the green wave could carry you for years while you address those higher priorities. 

“Green manufacturing cuts across every aspect of manufacturing, including information decisions, process technologies, energy consumption, material selection, and material flow. A lot of the decisions manufacturers make are related to cost, function, and quality. Now they are adding another dimension, which is sustainability.”

 This is just a great quote and sums up green manufacturing very well. Sustainability is where we are headed and its within our reach. Let’s keep driving towards profitable sustinability.

                  National Semi Conductor Greenest in Maine:

In a recent announcement National Semiconductor of received the commendable title of “Largest Maine Carbon Cutter” for reducing 43,700 metric tons since 2000. Design Taxi.com reported this story on their website. Just want to point out a couple things from the article that refers back to green manufacturing.  Water related heating and cooling processes were keys to the drop in emissions

                  They improved:

Efficiencies in the heating of deionized water, reducing set-point temperatures for water heating and converting the energy of incoming cold water from a local lake to allow free cooling of manufacturing equipment.”

                  Water is increasingly scarce in large, populated states like Georgia, Texas, and California.  National is showing a way to use of water in a resourceful way. Their lead could inspire more innovated water saving practices in drier regions.

     The NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament begins tomorrow, but in England an interscholastic competition of a very different kind has already started. The first round winners, an engineering team who improved energy efficiency at a L’Oreal manufacturing plant, will be moving on to the International Finals in Paris where they’ll face off against 11 other teams from around the world.

“The solution, an organic process which converts heat into electricity and the installation of a heat pipe exchanger, was developed as part of L’Oréal’s Ingenius programme: a global competition which aims to give engineering students experience in the world of manufacturing and commerce.”

It could reduce consumption at the L’Oreal UK Plant by more than 50% according to the report on onerec.com.

This is the first program of its kind and it’s a great way to give exposure and real world experience to future engineers. Utility savings are one reward and utilizing the heat pipe exchanger could assist in proving that these types of systems could work at other sites.

         Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Salvatore F. DiMasi  made an important speech today, announcing the Green Jobs act as a ‘bold plan’ which will invest over $50 million.

He even cited Iowa, Minnesota, and California as states that have embraced similar plans and Massachuessts risks losing workers and industry.

Venture capital will flow, universities will innovate, jobs will abound, and utility costs will be reduced.

His speech included these words: 

 

“This important initiative, The Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the McCormack Institute at  UMass- Boston will help our  communities and our state develop best practices, aid them in finding critical efficiencies and doing all they can to keep the taxpayers costs down.”

 

“There is a tremendous opportunity here on clean energy, just as there is in life sciences.”

 

“And throughout the state, we have workers ready to capitalize – to manufacture green products, to test green facilities, to continue green research.” 

“It is yet another bold plan that will grow the right kind of jobs in Massachusetts — clean energy jobs, green jobs and good-paying jobs in the economy of the future.” 

 

Thanks, Sal, for bringing this up now.

While the state continues debating bringing in casinos to boost our economy, green business will be reviving the economy.  

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               You could take this as a response to my last post about whether or not green economy is truly beneficial to our economy; but honestly all I did was a Google news search for green manufacturing and standing at the top of the search results, was an Reuters article entitled ‘CEOs see green energy policies preserving US Jobs’. The opening line was

 

It’s not often you hear executives from the biggest U.S. industries and a Republican governor clamoring for stronger regulations on climate change. But that’s exactly what they want.

This makes me think I may not have do anymore convincing or mind changing.A Chief Executive at Dow Chemical Co had some compelling comments, which I must include here:  

 

The entire chemical industry and manufacturing sector has lost 3.1 million jobs due to a lack of a coherent energy policy…We have a manufacturing crisis in this country … The leadership of this country needs to step up’

 

He said this at a Wall Street Journal Conference where a President from BP Alternative Energy North America also made the comment:

 

 “We don’t know how to deploy capital when the rules change year on year.”

 

Republican Governor Shwarzenegger even said his state had to create their own regulations because ‘Washington is not’.

 

I could go on. There were a few other quotes from CEOs of major Corporations, who more than support green energy but I don’t want to inundate you with quotes. This blog is about green revitalizing American manufacturing, and it seems that corporations welcome the movement. I’m not a tie dye clad activist, trying to bring down corporations.  Corporations agree with these green concepts. They want tighter regulations. And apparently think that they are being held back by government policy, while the rest of the world moves forward.

 

Wow, I’m actually rooting for government to give in to corporate America. This is a new green economy.