Tel: 860-571-3602  |

Hartford Technologies Blog

4 Strategies for Reducing Environmental Impact with Your Manufacturing Supplier

Posted: Sep 25, 2023 3:00:26 PM

Environmental challenges stemming from your suppliers can lead to a range of problems, including increased costs, reputation damage, and even legal issues. That's precisely why it is of utmost importance to evaluate and alleviate any prospective environmental risks beforehand when engaging with your chosen supplier. 

Check out these 4 useful tips that can help you significantly reduce the chances of environmental impact when working with a manufacturing supplier.

1. Select a Responsible and Reputable Supplier

Finding the right supplier may seem like a simple task, but the repercussions of making a wrong choice can be severe. Keep in mind that it is crucial to prioritize suppliers who share your dedication to sustainability.

Seek out suppliers with a proven track record of responsibility in reducing their environmental impact. This may involve evaluating their past projects, verifying up-to-date certifications, or examining their data and reports on carbon emissions. This information may not always be readily available as environmental reporting is only just becoming increasingly ubiquitous. 

But suppliers that align with your sustainability goals will be eager to demonstrate that commitment and working with these partners can ultimately have a substantial impact on your overall environmental performance once you've chosen a responsible supplier, it's important to maintain a system of regularly auditing and assessing your supplier for a means of accountability.

Hartford Technologies, for example, has held its compliance in ISO14001 for over 10 years, keeping its registration up to date and making headway in showing a visible reduction in waste production.

2. Collaborate with Your Supplier on Sustainable Goals and Production

Collaborating with your suppliers to set explicit sustainability goals is a powerful approach to reducing environmental impact. Start by engaging in open dialogues with your suppliers to outline shared objectives and expectations.

For instance, if you're in the electronics industry, you might set a goal to reduce energy consumption during the manufacturing of your precision components such as brass balls. This could involve using more energy-efficient machinery, optimizing production schedules to reduce idle time, or even exploring the adoption of renewable energy sources within their facilities.

When collaborating with suppliers on product design, prioritize the selection of eco-friendly materials. This includes using materials that are renewable, biodegradable, or sourced sustainably. Consider materials with lower environmental footprints and reduced toxicity. Additionally, explore options for using recycled or upcycled materials to reduce the demand for new resources.

By setting clear targets together, you create a sense of shared responsibility and motivation for both parties to work towards environmentally friendly practices.

3. Encourage Transparency in Communication

Understanding the environmental impacts of your suppliers can be a pivotal step in making more eco-conscious decisions. While it may not be common practice for suppliers to generate detailed environmental reports, fostering a culture of transparent communication can still go a long way.

Instead of expecting detailed reports on energy usage, which might not be readily available, you can focus on examining the kind of content that suppliers publish on their platforms. This could range from blog posts to case studies highlighting any green initiatives or eco-friendly projects they are involved in. An open dialogue about the sources of energy, and any efforts they have made towards energy efficiency or renewable energy adoption, could also provide insights.

Water conservation is a vital aspect to consider, particularly in regions grappling with water scarcity. Engaging in conversations with suppliers about their water usage patterns and the strategies they are employing for conservation can be enlightening.

Similarly, waste management is another area where transparent communication can be beneficial. Encourage suppliers to share information on their waste generation and management practices, either through formal reports or other channels, which can potentially unveil opportunities for waste reduction, recycling, or reusing materials.

Promoting transparency in communication not only helps you understand the environmental impact of your suppliers but also facilitates a constructive dialogue where both parties can explore opportunities for improvement and efficiency gains. It's a step towards fostering a collaborative relationship where both parties work hand in hand to achieve sustainability goals, setting a positive example in the industry.

4. Encourage Lean Manufacturing Principles

Promoting lean manufacturing brings forth a multitude of benefits for both your business and the environment. With a focus on eliminating waste, improving efficiency, and enhancing production quality, lean principles serve as the foundation for this approach.

The core emphasis of lean manufacturing lies in waste reduction across various areas such as overproduction, defects, waiting times, and excess inventory. By streamlining processes and eliminating these inefficiencies, suppliers can conserve resources and minimize the environmental impact caused by unnecessary material production and disposal.

Lean principles optimize the utilization of resources, encompassing materials, energy, and water. This not only results in a smaller environmental footprint due to reduced waste but also paves the way for more efficient production methods. Furthermore, it leads to cost savings that benefit both your company and your suppliers.

By reducing the need for extensive storage, lean manufacturing helps reduce energy consumption and space requirements. In addition, it strengthens product quality, thereby reducing waste arising from defective or reworked items. These practices go beyond mere efficiency; they showcase a commitment to sustainability, attracting environmentally conscious consumers and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

For more information on lean manufacturing, we have the ultimate list here.

Work With a Reliable Supplier

Embracing these 4 strategies for reducing environmental impact with your manufacturing supplier is not just a matter of ethical responsibility; it's a smart business decision. It safeguards your brand's reputation, minimizes potential costs, and ensures compliance with environmental regulations.

By selecting responsible and reputable suppliers, setting sustainability goals, demanding transparency, and promoting lean manufacturing principles, you create a resilient foundation for a greener, more sustainable future. This commitment to environmental stewardship not only benefits your company but also contributes to a more sustainable and eco-conscious industry as a whole.

Work With Hartford Technologies

At Hartford Technologies we stand by our ethical approach to reducing energy consumption and waste reduction. In the last 4 years alone, we have seen a 12% reduction in gas usage, a 15% reduction in water usage, and a 4% reduction in electric usage by making updates to our lights and air compressors. Metal waste has also decreased by 12% with a 14% increase in single-stream recycling.

Contact us today and make us your reliable environmentally conscious supplier.