The Five Subsectors Of Green Product Development And Manufacturing
1. GREEN MANUFACTURING
“Green manufacturing involves making manufactured
products and the manufacturing process safer for the
environment and human health” (Cha).
What does this mean?
The use of less toxic or nontoxic materials
Post-consumer recycled content (containing materials that
consumers have used and recycled)
Locally sourced materials (ex. Stone and granite from local
quarries rather than imported from around the globe)
Products manufactured and used in renewable and energy
efficient systems (ex. Gearboxes used in small-scale wind
Improving operational energy efficiency
Employee occupational health and safety
1. GREEN MANUFACTURING (CONTINUED)
Interface (Global Carpeting Company)
Vision: “To be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the
entire industrial world what sustainability is in all its dimensions.”
By 2020 the company hopes to have become restorative through
the power of influence.
Green Manufacturing in action (steps that Interface has taken)
Use bio-based raw materials such as fibers made from PLA
(Polylactic Acid) such as flax, hemp, and wool
More than 27% of Interface’s global energy consumption is
derived from renewable sources
Since 1995, the company has eliminated 50% of waste cost
per unit, resulting in $372 million in avoided waste costs
“Deconstruction is the process of carefully dismantling
and removing useable materials from structures for
reuse, recycling, and waste management” (Cha).
Maximizes the recovery of valuable building materials
for reuse and recycling
Minimizes the amount of waste destined for landfills
Alternative to demolition
“A typical 13,300 square foot commercial demolition project generates
over 155 pounds per square foot or over 2 million pounds of waste;2
building-related projects in the U.S. alone generate an estimated 164
million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) material every year.
Approximately 40% of this material is reused, recycled, or sent to waste-
to-energy facilities, while 60 percent is sent to C&D landfills” EPA Report:
Beneficial Use of Secondary Materials – Construction and Demolition Materials
2. DECONSTRUCTION (CONTINUED)
sections of row houses
are removed intact for
Susquehanna Deconstruction Pilot
Unique architectural features such as a corner turret and radiators are
retrieved from urban row houses and sold through local salvage business.
Images courtesy of OSWER Innovation Project Success Story:
•Deconstruction pilot project to determine cost-
effective methods for removing lumber and other
•The project successfully demonstrated that
deconstruction can be cost-competitive with hand
demolition when there are sufficient recoverable
materials to offset the high labor costs.
“This subsector redistributes unwanted yet perfectly
usable materials and equipment, including items from
demolished structures” (Cha).
Keeps goods and materials out of the waste stream
Advances source reduction
Preserves the ‘embodied energy’ originally used to
manufacture an item
Creates less air and water pollution than making a
new product or recycling
Saves money in purchase and disposal costs
“Recycling is the collection, sorting, and reprocessing of
used material into new raw materials” (Cha).
“A process of disassembling worn-out or discarded
equipment, recovering sound and usable parts, and
reusing them to build new, complete products” (Cha).
Promotes reuse and waste prevention
Discourages the use of virgin materials