This document is really well worth the read.
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Two things that are interesting about the examples discussed are:
1) They mainly reduce the factories impact on the environment by saving water, energy or reducing emissions which are often product, raw material or byproduct. So the fixed production costs are very often reduced at the same time as the environment benefits.
2) They are seldom complicated or technologically groundbreaking and are often common sense.
A few examples are
- Campbell Soup reduced energy consumption by 4,85 and water by 13,45% by installing utility meters, introducing recycling, installing energy saving light bulbs and introducing low flow water nozzles.
- Craft Foods reduced its energy cost by 60% for a new cold store by installing it underground in a limestone formation.
- General Mills produces 90% of the steam it uses in its milling and preparation plant for Breakfast cereal production production, by burning the bran produced in the plant.
- Musco Ollives uses 15 tons of olive pressing waste a day to produce enough steam from waste water to produce power for production.
- Kroger distributes 30 million meals a year from food that, although safe and wholesome, is destined for landfill for commercial reasons.