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Sustainability is undoubtedly the critical issue of our time. 

With the global population expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the United Nations estimates that the equivalent of almost three planets would be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain that many modern lifestyles.

While consumption and production are critical to the global economy, current volumes and unsustainable practices are placing a massive strain on the environment and its resources, leading to some already catastrophic impacts.

For instance, Deloitte reports that between 2000 and 2020, CO2 emissions released by global fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes rose by roughly 35%, to 34.07 billion metric tons. Given the need to address climate change and meet net-zero targets, this trend must be reversed.

Thankfully, many manufacturers are now recognizing the strong business case behind pursuing more sustainable practices. Indeed, operating in a sustainable manner can improve energy efficiency, reduce waste, lower costs, increase operational efficiency, enhance brand reputation, boost recruitment and staff retention practices, provide competitive advantages, futureproof for regulatory constraints and opportunities, and unlock access to government grants and funding.

Of course, sustainability is not a case of one-size-fits-all. Every manufacturer is different, and each will have to make sustainable changes that match unique criteria. Yet this diversity is resulting in an abundance of commendable innovations. 

What follows are some leading global manufacturing companies that are taking proactive and progressive approaches toward sustainability.


Canadian Pacific (CP) is one firm leading the sustainability charge in the rail arena, having introduced a hydrogen locomotive program back in December 2020.

Many railway operators globally use diesel-powered locomotives at present, representing the industry’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Recognizing this, CP has introduced a host of sustainability initiatives that have been successful in improving its fuel efficiency by more than 40% in the past three decades. Should the hydrogen program prove to be successful, it will help the firm take a further leap toward sustainable practices and serve to revolutionize energy consumption for the industry as a whole.

CP is in the process of retrofitting a line-haul locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to power the locomotive’s electric traction motors. The company will then conduct rail service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology’s readiness for real world use. 

To accelerate the program, the company also recently received a CA$15 million (US$12.1 million) grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta to increase the number of hydrogen locomotive conversions from one to three, as well as developing more hydrogen production and fueling facilities at CP’s rail yards in Calgary and Edmonton.

The former will comprise an electrolysis plant that will produce hydrogen from water, this process powered by solar panels at CP’s headquarters campus to keep emissions at zero. The latter, meanwhile, will see a small-scale steam methane reformation system being used to generate hydrogen while tapping into Alberta’s abundant natural gas resources.


Over in the mining and metals sector, organizations are also tapping into the potential of hydrogen to unlock similarly transformative solutions.

Rio Tinto, the world’s third largest mining company, has partnered with POSCO, the largest steel producer in South Korea, for the exploration and development of technologies capable of contributing to a low-carbon emission steel value-chain.

Both firms have outlined ambitions to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the integration of Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and POSCO’s steelmaking technology set to be pivotal in helping them to each reach such their intended sustainability targets.

In addition, Finnish metals specialist Metso Outotec is equally championing sustainability in the sector thanks to its unique Circored process, this involving the use of hydrogen to decarbonize the production of steel.

The flexible Circored process produces highly metalized direct reduced iron or hot briquetted iron which is then in turn used directly as a feed material in electric arc furnaces for carbon-free steelmaking.

Not only does this not require any fossil fuels, but it also helps Metso Outotec to minimize its costs by eliminating the need for energy-intensive pelletizing.


Back in the transportation sector, automotive manufacturers PACCAR, Daimler Trucks North America and Volvo Group recently sealed $127 million of $199 million in U.S. federal funding made available for the development of advanced battery-electric and fuel cell electric truck projects.

According to the International Energy Agency, transport accounts for approximately one fifth of all CO2 emissions, with 74.5% of this contribution stemming from passenger vehicles (45.1%) and road freight vehicles (29.4%).

Known as SuperTruck 3, the federal funding initiative is a five-year dollar-for-dollar investment matching program designed to accelerate the development of pollution reducing electrified medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight system concepts that will either achieve zero emissions or improve energy efficiency. 

PACCAR secured $33 million of the funds to develop 18 class 8 battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks, as well as a megawatt charging station.

Daimler Trucks North America has received $26 million to develop two class 8 fuel cell trucks that have a 600-mile range and 25,000-hour durability–providing similar operational output compared with a diesel vehicle.

And Volvo Group North America will use $18 million in SuperTruck 3 funding to manufacture a 400-mile class 8 battery-electric tractor trailer that will focus on optimizing performance in relation to aerodynamics, tires, braking, automation and route planning. Further, the firm will also develop a megawatt charging station.

This is not the only commitment the manufacturers have made towards sustainable automotive solutions. Equally, Daimler and Volvo previously signed a joint venture to develop fuel cell vehicles during the current decade that would be sold under both brands. 


Pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing might seem like a sector less ripe for sustainability initiatives. However, the MARISURF Consortium is demonstrating that this is equally an area where much progress can be made.

The Consortium, backed by several companies and funded by a grant of 4.8 million euros (or about US$5.4 million) from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program, aims to develop alternatives for petrochemicals in pharma products using marine microorganisms.

It comprises a selection of esteemed academic institutions, end-users and industrial companies, including manufacturers such as Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant VZW, EcTechSystens Srl, Nanoimmunotech and Marlow Foods Ltd.

The goal is to produce marine microorganism-based products for personal care, food and pharmaceutical formulations, with promising progress having been made in the five years since the research project first launched. Given that the consumer industry accounts for more than 70% of demand for all petrochemicals, this is significant. 

Indeed, common petrochemical use cases include drug production, soaps, plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, paints, and build materials such as flooring and insulation. However, it is hoped that marine organisms will become a viable, natural replacement, owing to the consortium’s research. 


While En+ Group is renowned as the world’s largest producer of low-carbon aluminum, it is also an active player in green energy solutions through several environmentally conscious initiatives. 

Many of these are driven by the firm’s New Energy program, focused on expanding clean energy generation and access. This seeks to modernize En+’s power plants through the implementation of new technologies capable of achieving greater hydropower energy efficiency and a reduced environmental impact, without increasing the water volumes passing through its hydropower turbines.

Further, the program aims to reduce En+’s environmental impact in other ways–namely through curbing the emissions of its coal-fired power plants. Initially launched in 2007 in tandem with the company’s plans to conduct the large-scale overhaul and replacement of core equipment at its largest hydropower plants based in Siberia, the project will continue to run until 2046. 

Through New Energy, it has also become the first Russian firm and just one of 28 companies globally to achieve a UN recognized Energy Compact–an initiative launched by UN Energy to acknowledge voluntary commitments by countries, businesses, and cities in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals by accelerating the transition to clean energy and improving energy access.


In Australia, global metals manufacturer Nyrstar and physical commodity trading company Trafigura Group have committed to a joint investment that will see the construction of a commercial scale green hydrogen manufacturing facility in Port Pirie, in partnership with the State Government of South Australia.

Currently the project is in the midst of an AUD$5 million (US$3.65 million) front end engineering design study that is expected to be concluded come the end of 2022, with construction then set to commence in 2023.

In total, the project will cost an estimated AUD$750 million (US$534 million), set to be rolled out in phases. Initially it will produce 20 tons of green hydrogen per day for export in the form of green ammonia, with plans to ramp up to 100 tons per day at full capacity, powered by a 440MW electrolyzer.

The manufacturing facility will become a key backbone of green hydrogen for Port Pirie and the surrounding region, providing significant benefit to local businesses while propelling the decarbonization of transport and industry.

The oxygen created in the hydrogen production process will also be utilized by the Nyrstar Port Pirie smelter. As part of the agreement, Trafigura will source 100% renewable energy to deliver the electricity needed to run the project’s electrolyzer, which will also contribute to decarbonizing the existing smelter’s power supply.


Intelligent automation specialist Dematic and Aspire Food Group have partnered on a unique venture, constructing a flagship, state-of-the-art facility that will be used for the purpose of enhancing the production and manufacture of food-grade insect protein.

Anticipated for completion in Q1 2022, the facility will be the world’s first fully automated food-grade insect protein manufacturing site, powered by Dematic’s innovative technology. 

Its Unit-Load Automated Storage/Retrieval Systems will be implemented through the 11-story building and use 96,000 totes to breed crickets, ready to be processed for either human or pet consumption.

Industrial IoT sensors, and artificial intelligence will also be deployed to unlock key data and insights that will be used to help optimize the conditions for cricket maturation, breeding and incubation. The project will also mark the inaugural use of such technologies in the enhancement of indoor vertical agriculture with living organisms.

In total, it is estimated that the totes will be able to produce up to 20,000 tons of cricket protein and waste for fertilizer and soil supplements annually. 


In China, logistics specialist Kuehne+Nagel and Honda have worked together to cut 16,000 tons of CO2 out of the supply chain of the automotive manufacturer through an ambitious road-to-rail project, reducing the regional division’s carbon emissions by as much as 70%.

Developed through KN Sincero–a joint venture between Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese logistics specialist Sincero–the initiative has seen Honda China move significant portions of its domestic long-haul trucking operations to train lines.

Tapping into regional hubs to optimize the performance of its supply chain, the manufacturer has unlocked several benefits. It has drastically reduced supply chain efficiencies and dramatically enhanced productive reliability, the project also delivering a range of value-added services spanning sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management.

As a key partner, the project aligns with Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon initiative that was launched in 2019, geared toward not only lowering its own footprint but equally those of other organizations. Indeed, the firm resultantly achieved carbon neutrality globally in 2020, further turning attentions to supporting its partners thereafter through initiatives such as these.

green building

7 Well-Known Benefits of Green Buildings

For the past decade, the construction industry’s effect on society has grown exponentially, in ways both good and bad. Its rapid evolution showcased the emergence of solutions to deal with the negatives. A prime example is the development of green buildings, geared towards combating its adverse harmful impacts on the natural environment. 

The construction sector contributes a big percentage to the world’s wastes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the construction industry in the US alone comprises 25% of the non-industrial waste generated annually, or 160 million tons in figures. In another study by the US Green Building Council, the industry takes up 40% of the worldwide energy usage. 

How is a building ‘green’?

A ‘green’ building aims to reduce such issues through design, construction, or operational methods. It also covers site planning, community, and land-use planning. Some key features include efficient use of resources such as energy and water, use of non-toxic and sustainable materials, re-use and recycling of the latter, and design adaptability, among other things. These can be applied to any type of development, may it be commercial or residential. See more here to avail your own green home.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, more commonly known as LEED, is the most established green building certification system in the world. It follows a standard metric for all building types and phases including construction, interiors, operations and maintenance, and core and shell. 

For instance, Shanghai Tower in China is one of the grandest buildings in the world, being the second tallest tower at 2073 feet. Yet, it still manages to fit the standard of a LEED-certified building. It uses passive cooling through a transparent curtain wall that forms a buffer of captured air. Its façade also integrated 270 wind turbines that power its exterior lights. All these features account for a significant reduction in the building’s energy costs.

Merits: Environmental, social, and economic

As the previous example has shown, sustainable developments show potential not only through environmental merits but on other fronts as well. It paves the way for more productive communities and economic progress. To discuss more in detail, here are 7 well-known benefits of green buildings in different aspects.

1. Minimized pollution and strain on resources

The primary goal of green buildings is to address the building industry’s detrimental impact on the climate and environment, particularly pollution and resource depletion. Through its philosophies, it significantly minimizes waste production and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the emissions savings could potentially be as much as 84 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. The use of raw materials and shared natural resources are also kept to a minimum, which lessens the ecological strain. 

2. Less maintenance and building cost

After such environmental benefits, others will follow accordingly such as economic benefits. Many assume that constructing a green building is more costly than it seems, but research shows that its price is comparable to conventional methods. These are achieved through apt design solutions, project management, and other cost-effective strategies. For instance, reusing and recycling materials can cut your expenses. Even design interventions like passive cooling and natural lighting can significantly reduce operational costs. 

3. Energy efficiency 

Newer technologies and features will require you to cash out a bigger budget initially, but the benefits and savings will be tenfold better in the long run. Solar photovoltaic systems have notably become more affordable in recent years. It’s a versatile technology, applicable both in large and small-scale developments. If you have enough panels installed, it can cover your entire electric consumption. These interventions are not only environmentally advantageous, but it significantly reduces operational costs as well since non-renewable energy sources are expensive.

4. Water efficiency

Another natural resource that green building methods are saving is water. It advocates for a consistent supply of clean water for future generations. One way is by using alternative sources like rainwater. Some major commercial establishments have been using gray water for water closets in public restrooms. Another method of achieving this is by incorporating water treatment facilities in your development to recycle water. 

5. Market Value

Sustainability and social responsibility have become more prominent around circles of investors and potential occupiers. If your building uses green interventions, its credentials allow for increased marketability. Studies have shown that greener buildings have a high tendency to attract tenants and buyers. With the demand and technology incorporated, owners can implement higher lease and sale prices.

6. Workplace Productivity

The social benefits of green buildings interlink with economic profits as well. According to a study from Harvard, employees in green and well-ventilated office spaces showed a significant increase in cognitive function, crisis response, and focused activity level. These kinds of spaces also improve their well-being, with better sleep quality and fewer sick-building symptoms. These positive human responses account for a boosted workplace productivity.

7. Future proof investment

Sustainable interventions are also a way to protect your investment and secure longevity. With the changing times and stricter regulations, developments should be adaptable and must stand the test of time. The coronavirus pandemic gravely affected the world economy. Green recovery aims to provide policies and solutions that support the future of both the people and the environment. This includes green building initiatives that allow for flexibility, resilience, and consistently good quality of life for its users. Hence, their income and future market value are positively affected.

The future of green buildings

Despite the pandemic and struggles of construction, green building trends continue to emerge. Government bodies have started delving into green initiatives such as the UK’s Green Homes Grant. LEED-certified materials have been in trend and are still expected to boom in the coming years. These include wood, insulated concrete forms, composites, non-VOC paints among others. 

Green buildings are still far from being the standard. However, in the long run, these sustainable initiatives can play a pivotal role in the large-scale economic progress of the world. It presents itself as a tool for job security, long-term resilience, and resource safeguarding.


How to Make Quality and Environmentally-Friendly Electric Cables & Wires

Sustainability: The Need of the Hour

It is no secret that the world is facing an environmental threat. Various industries are trying to control the carbon emission generated by them. The electronic sector also rose to the cause. Particularly the wire and cable industry is taking numerous initiatives. They are trying to use biocomposite plastic. They also increased the focus on the recycling of non-renewable resources. But, there are merits and demerits attached to every effort towards sustainability. Let’s look at the initiatives taken by the industry and the challenges they are facing.

Green Cables

Modern manufacturing techniques enabled the production of “Green Cables” and wires. So how can we transform regular electric cables into green cables? There are two ways to do it. One is to focus on its material, and the other one is its manufacturing process. The demand for green manufacturing materials is increased due to the increase in the number of green buildings. Thus, the green cable is the rising trend in the electronic manufacturing industry.

Eco-friendly Material

The materials which are used for manufacturing are usually climate-friendly materials. They are biodegradable and modern materials such as halogen-free jacketing. They are not made up of the ingredients labeled as hazardous towards the authorities’ environment. The European Commission for the Environment and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is generally referred to as identifying its sustainability.

Are they helpful?

These materials also help in getting the U.S. listing of LHSF. As they create minimum smoke being halogen-free. However, it affects the life span and quality of the cables. This ultimately increases the need for more replacement and reinstallation in comparison to the traditional PVC cable. So is ita completely sustainable option? Well, not really!

Manufacturing Process

Another way in which you can identify a green cable is through its manufacturing process. It is energy efficient and environmental friendly. Such manufacturing prioritizes the least carbon emission, maximum recycling, and harmless disposal of waste materials.

Is it Green?

Although the process seems sustainable, it doesn’t have much control over the materials being used. Secondly, the manufacturing process cannot control carbon emission completely. It requires a lot of planning, proper implementation, and investments. If anything amongst these factors is misplaced, the process automatically becomes less effective.

Something Is Better Than Nothing

The above information states that we cannot call a cable completely environment friendly. Yet, it makes a lot of difference. These efforts make a cable more or less sustainable or green, as we may call them.

Another Key to Be Environment Friendly: Insulation Material

The insulation material is one more factor that helps in producing more sustainable electric wires. Insulation materials separate the electrical conductors from the conductive materials. It is vital to protect the sparks and short circuits. The most common type of insulation is PVC. It is low cost and durable. But it presents a lot of environmental and health hazards because it emits toxic gas and acid in large quantities.

Many companies are now involved in producing eco-friendly insulation and jacketing material. Some of them are entirely recyclable. Phthalate-free plasticizers and bio-based plasticizers are known to omit 40% less greenhouse gas.

Every Act Counts!

The electronic industry can altogether avoid environmental hazards. Therefore, it must be appreciated that they are at least trying to contribute to sustainability. Every little effort matters! Every alteration that can do some damage control is precious. It’s high time for all the industrial sectors to work towards climate change seriously.


Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. 


Are Your Favorite Companies Eco-Friendly? Even They May Not Know.

Corporations around the world love to promote their environmental bona fides, touting their at-times Herculean efforts to minimize their carbon footprint.

But desiring to be environmentally friendly and truly accomplishing that goal are two different things, as illustrated recently by Amazon’s acknowledgment that its carbon footprint grew 15% last year despite efforts to curb its impact on climate change.

As it turns out, the details about many companies’ eco-friendly accomplishments are often enveloped in mystery, in some cases even for the businesses themselves.

“The Amazon situation is just an example of the bigger problem surrounding corporate claims of environmental responsibility,” says Rajat Panwar, Ph.D. (, an associate professor of Sustainable Business Management at Appalachian State University.

“Most global corporations now make such claims, but the reality is that half of the carbon emissions since the industrial revolution have happened within the last 30 to 35 years. It seems that corporate environmental disclosures hide more than they reveal.”

Why is it so difficult for many companies to achieve their goals of reducing their carbon emissions or otherwise limit the damage they do to the environment? Panwar says one problem is corporations often outsource much of their work, which not only reduces their control over the environmental impact they have, but also their very knowledge of that impact.

Panwar says one study analyzed reports that 1,300 firms submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. That study revealed 80 percent of those firms could not even determine the country of origin of their products, much less any information about their carbon footprint.

“My research has found that firms that are more socially and environmentally responsible tend to perform their functions themselves rather than outsource those functions to third-party vendors,” he says.

For companies that truly desire to have a positive impact, Panwar says three issues are critical:

How companies measure emissions makes a difference. Companies’ carbon commitments and pledges should be about absolute emissions, not emissions per unit of revenue or sales, Panwar says. But too often companies link their emission-reduction goals to how much money they are bringing in, at least partially negating what should be the ultimate goals.

Eco-friendliness can’t stop at the corporate door. Carbon commitments should encompass all operations across supply-chains. In the case of companies such as Amazon, the majority of emissions actually happen offsite and can be reduced only through concrete steps taken at the supply chain level. “This is a serious issue because many companies don’t even know who their downstream suppliers are.” Panwar says. “Companies like Amazon can gather applause for their pledges, but the actual impacts are hidden in the supply chains.” Consumers who want a true reckoning of how well a company is reducing emissions need to ask companies to provide those numbers,

Supply networks should not be far-flung. In late June, Amazon announced creation of a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to invest in companies that make products and technology that help protect the Earth. But the details of how such a plan will play out are important, Panwar says. A good approach, he says, is to promote local supply networks so that emissions are minimal, visible and monitorable.

“I am glad that we are beginning to see through the discrepancy between corporate pledges and corporate environmental impact,” Panwar says. “When it comes to emissions and especially the effects of a global supply chain, I believe we are entering a new era in which transparency has to be made more transparent.”


Rajat Panwar, Ph.D. (, is an associate professor of Sustainable Business Management at Appalachian State University. He previously was an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. He also has been an Affiliate Faculty member in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and with the Governance, Environment, and Markets program at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Panwar holds two doctorate degrees, one in Corporate Sustainability from Grenoble École de Management in France, and one in Forestry from Oregon State University.