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Liesel Kassier - Leading the Transition to Green Manufacturing

The Imperative for Green Manufacturing Practices
The global manufacturing sector faces a multifaceted challenge: balancing economic growth with environmental responsibility. A paradigm shift is taking place in manufacturing, with sustainable manufacturing practices no longer being a peripheral concern but a central tenet for a responsible and prosperous future within the manufacturing sector. This article explores two trends shaping the
landscape of green manufacturing and explores the benefits of undertaking executive education
programmes in this field.

1. Green Energy Adoption within manufacturing:
The global energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation, characterised by a shift from traditional, centralised, and carbon-intensive power sources towards cleaner, decentralised, and digital solutions. This transition presents challenges and opportunities for the manufacturing sector,
particularly in regions like South Africa with energy insecurity and a high dependence on fossil fuels.
Manufacturers who fail to adapt to this evolving energy landscape risk several consequences:

• Escalating Energy Costs: Reliance on conventional energy sources is leading to rising costs, eroding profit margins.
• Regulatory Pressures: The prevalence of increasing international carbon taxes such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) has the potential for enacting high penalties for manufacturing firms that have an energy source that is highly carbon intensive, like Eskom grid-tied energy.

Forward-thinking manufacturers can leverage the energy transition as a strategic advantage by prioritising the business case for adopting green energy solutions. Two of the key value propositions
for this business case would be the following:

• A robust energy and net-zero strategy positions companies for success in a rapidly changing market with a growing emphasis on sustainability.
• Sustainable practices can unlock access to green financing and investment opportunities, facilitating capital acquisition for future growth.

2. The Ascendancy of Circular Economy Principles:
• The traditional linear economic model of ‘take, make, dispose’ is being challenged by the burgeoning circular economy. This framework emphasises closed-loop systems through several key mechanisms:
• Design for Disassembly and Reuse: Products are designed with an emphasis on facilitating disassembly and component reusability, thereby extending their lifespan and minimising waste generation.
• Integration of Recycled Content: Manufacturers are increasingly incorporating higher percentages of recycled materials into their products, consequently diminishing reliance on virgin resources.

These trends reshaping green manufacturing require a proactive approach to sustainability integration by executives leading their organisations. Sustainable practices necessitate a holistic approach, with collaborations between manufacturers, material suppliers, and research institutions accelerating the development and adoption of sustainable solutions.

At TWIMS we offer an executive education programme in green manufacturing that offers a valuable opportunity for leaders to gain critical knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving market landscape. Leaders will walk away from the programme having gained:

• A comprehensive understanding of green manufacturing principles, encompassing resource management, sustainable business models, energy efficiency, circular economy, and life-cycle assessment.
• Practical strategies for integrating sustainability into existing operations. This includes technology adoption choices and supply chain optimisation.
• A strategic vision for green manufacturing and the skills to champion its implementation within their organisations.

For more information visit

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 Liesel Kassier Leading the Transition to Green Manufacturing.pdf

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