(148b) Sustainability in Manufacturing beyond ROI

Authors: 
Belozerova, I., Intel Corporation
Mass production of goods requires enormous amounts of natural resources, such as energy precursors and water. Therefore, the contribution from manufacturing sustainability initiatives to overall resource conservation is sufficiently greater than those from, for example, changes in household behavior. Most industrial manufacturers are driven by financial metrics and the same rules apply in assessing viability of resource conservation opportunities compared to other investment options. Without beneficial returns on investment (ROI), sustainability projects are often left unpursued. A growing number of scientific studies have shown positive impacts of corporate social responsibility, and particularly corporate environmental performance (CEP), on financial performance. Unfortunately, CEP-driven financial variables are yet to be introduced and widely adopted by manufacturing industries for integration into ROI assessment of sustainability projects. The growing notion that “it pays to be green” has been infiltrating the scientific community, but under increasing natural resource scarcity and climate change stresses, more work needs to be done to establish benchmarked CEP-inclusive ROI analysis and expand the amount of vital sustainability initiatives in manufacturing.