Mechanical Engineering Blog

Sustainability in Manufacturing – Survey Results

Sustainability in Manufacturing – Survey Results

We recently conducted a survey among our customers from the engineering sector to get a bigger picture of the industry’s views on sustainability.

We carried out the survey to clarify your, our customers’, priorities when it comes to sustainability. This way we can align our understanding with yours and add new features to the platform in the future that really address your needs.

Stats:

  • 68 respondents
  • Half of the people from the UK, a third from Scandinavia + others

Questions & Answers

 

Do you think sustainability is important?

91.2% of the answers were “yes”, while the other 8.8% was equally divided between “no” and “somewhat”.

The respondents showed a very high concern for sustainability issues. Of course, we should consider that a lot of the people who do not care about the topic also did not participate in the survey. But even then, the yes-group was overwhelmingly large.

Do you consider sustainability when making business decisions?

Again, 91.2% of the people said “yes”, while the remaining opted for “no”.

Although it would seem logical that the latter segment formed from the last question’s “no” and “somewhat” groups, this is not true.

The reason may be that while some from the last question’s “yes” group consider it important on a personal level, they do not take it into account when doing business. At the same time, some people who may not see sustainability as important might have to consider it in business due to other requirements.

All in all, the “yes” group is a large majority, giving a great outlook on the industry’s perspective.

How important is it that your suppliers apply sustainable practices?

1 – 4.4%
2 – 1.5%
3 – 16.2%
4 – 39.7%
5 – 38.2%

All in all, 77.9% of the respondents see the supplier’s focus on sustainability as an important or very important aspect. A lot of companies try to, when possible, go for a more eco-friendly solution.

We would interpret “3” as a group that considers these values as a nice-to-have but the emphasis when choosing suppliers is probably wholly directed towards other qualities.

Even though 8.8% said that sustainability does not play any role when making business decisions (last question), only a combined 5.9% fall into the “1” and “2” groups.

The signs of sustainability’s growing importance and engineers’ awareness of it are clearly visible in the results.

Would you be willing to pay a 3% premium for carbon-neutral production services?

77.9% answered “yes” and 22.1% “no”.

The yes-group is exactly the same size as the 4-5 group in the last question.

We can deduce that people who do look for sustainable practices from the supply side also understand that it does come at a cost and are willing to cover that.

Would you be willing to pay a 1% premium for eco-friendly packaging?

82.4% said “yes”, 17.6% “no”.

Even more engineers would be happy to pay a small extra for eco-friendly packaging.

It is possible that there the 2 main drivers for that are:

The cost of packaging makes up a way smaller value of the overall cost of the goods. Additionally, the % is also smaller so the overall contribution towards sustainability is cheaper to make.

The social campaigns for eco-friendly packaging have been a long-running process of creating awareness and its effect is showing.

If the last point is true, we could envision that educating the audience about sustainability in the grander scheme of manufacturing can also affect the % there.

Would you like to propose ways how Fractory could address sustainability?

We have, of course, thought about these things in-house but were looking to see what are your expectations when it comes to sustainability and how we could follow them.

The following things were brought out:

  • Material certification and source
  • Making sustainable production optional
  • Packaging could be more eco-friendly (carbon neutral)
  • Making our own energy consumption sources public
  • Publicly show data about carbon and other emissions (C02 emission calculator, generating a report, etc.)
  • Offer carbon neutral delivery
  • Partner with factories running on renewables
  • Makes sure our partners reuse and recycle materials

As a nice addition, a few of you used the opportunity to demand opening up new delivery destinations in Europe 🙂 We will in due time and thanks for showing the demand (literally).

Conclusion

Our major customers have been working on sustainability for years already. The reports are filled with hundreds of actions, so the list of options when moving forward is pretty long.

We can only make a high positive impact when prioritising the steps in the right order. This is why we contacted you, as we can make different options available, but the success of these steps depends on whether you actually want to utilise them or not.

More information about the subject in the upcoming months. Until then, you can leave us more feedback by contacting us via email.

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