The Road to Sustainable Manufacturing

In November 2018, Configit participated in the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.  Since then, we have continued our commitment to uphold the Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Global Compact in the area of human rights, labor, anti-corruption and the environment.

But we can do more.

2020 was a year of change, and brought into focus many urgent issues, but the one I want to talk about here is environmental sustainability. And nothing clarified that more than the wildfires in Australia.

More than 10 million hectares burned and over one billion animals are estimated to have died, with many pushed to the edge of extinction. The cost to recover is estimated at $100 billion.

While pinpointing the cause of these fires is complicated, it is well understood and accepted that global climate change exacerbated the existing hot and dry conditions.

What Does Global Climate Change Have to Do with Configuration Technology?

More than you may realize.

Working with global manufacturing companies, we understand the challenges of developing, manufacturing and selling very complex products. From industrial machinery to wind turbines, the number of options and choices that go into each product can number into the millions. We specialize in making that decision process smoother and more transparent, to both the manufacturer and the consumer. But what if we could also make it ‘greener?’

Every year, manufacturers contribute over 12% of the total global CO2 emissions each year. An emerging topic in the manufacturing sector is ‘green configuration,’ a concept in which a configurator can show the user the environmental consequences of a configuration choice. The result is offering options that best suit the sustainability goals of the customer.

This is important for several reasons. Research has shown [1] that sustainability is a key consideration for a variety of consumer segments when making their purchase decisions. Nearly six in 10 consumers surveyed [2] are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. Nearly eight in 10 respondents indicate sustainability is important for them. And for those who say it is very/extremely important, over 70 percent would pay a premium of 35 percent, on average, for brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.

This is all good news for the triple bottom line – the economy, society and the environment. Even if sustainability isn’t a personal priority, it is a corporate priority for many organizations. So much so that many companies are tying individual benefits and compensation to sustainability goals.

As I mentioned earlier, Configit is committed to adhering to the principles of sustainability by enabling our customers to offer environmentally conscious options on their products in a fast, easy and accurate way. By giving buyers the information on how their choices impact their carbon footprint, our customers can better meet their own sustainability goals by aligning profit, people and the planet.

We are already helping our customers today by minimizing errors in the manufacturing process, this eliminates unnecessary time, energy and materials that would normally be wasted. But this is just the beginning. The impact we can have on not only our carbon footprint, but on that of our customers and our customers’ customers, is exponentially greater. This type of transparency and guidance is just one of the many benefits of a digital transformation, and one that consumers will increasingly expect as the norm.

We live in a deeply interconnected world. Actions we take in one area of the value chain can affect areas well down the line. Using technology to facilitate better choices not only lessens the impact on our environment but contributes to a healthy triple bottom line.

Hear from Our Customers

Read case stories from Jaguar Land Rover, ABB, Linde Hydraulics and more.

[1] Deloitte, Shifting sands: How consumer behaviour is embracing sustainability.

[2] Research Insights, IBM Institute for Business Value, June 2020, Meet the 2020 consumers driving change.