Sustainability in engineering

4 May 2022

There was a time when being a sustainable or ‘green’ organisation was somewhat of a niche. Today, sustainability is a necessity and a real requirement for businesses far and wide. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. At a crucial time for the earth and mother nature, we all have a responsibility to be more sustainable.

In many ways, sustainability starts in manufacturing and engineering. Engineers are responsible for bringing many objects and materials into the world through design and manufacturing. We have the ability to develop innovative and sustainable solutions and this is something we have never been more focused on here at Sewtec.

The circular economy

To first understand the need to change, it’s important to understand the concept of a ‘circular economy’. A circular economy is all about keeping resources in use for as long as possible. Right now, we live in a linear economy and a throw-away culture. Anything and everything we could ever want and need is so accessible in today’s society. All it takes is the click of a button. We use, dispose and repurchase.

At Sewtec we are working with global brands to try and help change this, working towards a reuse, repair, refurbish, remanufacture and recycle culture. Whether that’s utilising more sustainable packaging materials and reducing the reliance on single-use plastic, or giving new life to existing machinery to avoid throwing away and replacing machinery with new; our engineers have the innovation required to change the way organisations do things for the better of the planet.

Why should organisations be more sustainable?

Ok, so the planet needs us. But what’s in it for you and your organisation? Well, all you have to do is recognise the consumer demand for more sustainable products to see the business value in being ‘greener’. In fact, UK consumers are willing to pay an average of 25% more for sustainable alternatives to their usual products.

Not only this but making the move towards being more sustainable holds many other benefits. You may be able to:

  • Increase your operational efficiency
  • Reduce costs
  • Reduce waste
  • Reach new customers
  • Gain an advantage over your competitors
  • Strengthen your brand and reputation

Additionally, in many industries, organisations are having no choice but to adapt and change their ways due to new regulations and legislation around more sustainable practices. Take the new Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) for example. The UK Government enforced this tax in April 2022 in a bid to reduce the use and reliance on plastic packaging and to contribute to a circular economy. 

The PPT will see retailers taxed based on how much plastic they are using to package their products. Retailers will be exempt from the tax if at least 30% of the packaging is composed of recycled plastic. This has forced businesses around the UK to rethink their packaging and the amount of plastic they use. 

At Sewtec, we have been actively helping a number of organisations reduce their reliance on plastic packaging, using our team’s innovation to create alternative solutions to help them utilise all the aforementioned benefits and stay in line with industry standards.

How can Sewtec help?

Alongside reducing plastic packaging, we have invented packaging automation solutions that have helped organisations utilise more environmentally friendly and recyclable materials whilst finding innovative ways to make these materials work for products in the best way possible.

Over-packaging is a problem. It creates more waste and makes your products bulkier and heavier to transport and ship. We can find new ways for you to use less packaging, and in turn appease your consumers and stakeholders, create less waste and reduce your costs and environmental footprint.

Our modernisation and upgrade services also play a huge part in helping organisations operate more sustainably. Of course, a circular economy is all about a closed loop and keeping resources in use for as long as possible. Instead of simply replacing your machines if they are no longer running their best or doing what they need to, let our experts take a look. 

Our team renovate and upgrade existing machines to have them running like new again. Not only this, but we can add bespoke elements to your machine to enhance its efficiency and have it running at higher rates than it was originally designed for. Not only will you avoid sending old machines for scrap and adding to environmental waste, but you’ll also save money on purchasing new machinery and have machines that are more suitable to your processes than anything else available on the market.

Want to learn more about what Sewtec are doing to help organisations like you become more sustainable? Get in touch with us today and let’s talk about how we can help you do better for you, the planet and your customers.