to read

How To Cut Your Factory's Carbon Footprint

Discover how to reduce your factory's carbon footprint with sustainable manufacturing. Explore the challenges and action steps towards factory decarbonization.
Written by
Published on
June 21, 2024

Tackling the effects of climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face as a global community. As it stands, manufacturing is responsible for one-fifth of total carbon emissions around the world.

Therefore, cutting your carbon footprint should be a major priority for manufacturing companies, especially as more and more legislation is put in place.

Manufacturers are under pressure to become more sustainable. This means embracing energy-efficient processes and tech. 

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss the issue of decarbonization in manufacturing and some initial steps to help you achieve your targets. 

The Decarbonization Challenge for Manufacturing 

Cutting the carbon footprint of a factory is a challenging task for many reasons. 

For starters, many existing industrial processes are inefficient, relying heavily on fossil fuels to power them. Reliance on energy produced by burning coal makes switching from traditional systems to ones using renewable energy sources difficult and costly. 

Additionally, many manufacturers lack access to low-carbon energy sources or don’t have the resources to invest in new tech that could reduce their carbon footprint. 

Fortunately, there are signs of growing investment in renewable energy. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the share of renewables in global electricity generation jumped to 29% in 2020, up from 27% in 2019. 

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions reports that renewables made up 19.8% of electricity generation in the United States in 2020, and this number is expected to rise to 35% by 2030. 

Another factor that signals hope for the future is a recent academic report suggesting that more and more SME manufacturers are adopting Industry 4.0 technologies to reduce energy consumption, decrease costs and increase awareness. 

Overcoming the Decarbonization Challenge 

The following three steps will help you cut your carbon footprint and move toward a more sustainable future. 

Use renewable energy 

One of the most important decarbonization steps is to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power. These provide a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and save money. 

Manufacturers can apply a combination of renewable energy sources to power their operations, including solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass. These energy sources provide clean and sustainable energy, without harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, a manufacturing company might install solar panels on their factory roof. Solar panels are becoming increasingly affordable. 

Become more energy efficient

To further decarbonize their operations, manufacturers can explore ways to increase energy efficiency. A simple way to begin is by investing in energy-saving technologies such as LED lighting, efficient HVAC systems, and smart machinery.

Manufacturers can also leverage smart manufacturing tech such as IoT sensors, digital twins, predictive analytics, and machine learning algorithms to cut energy use. These tools help to monitor energy consumption in real-time, identify areas of inefficiency, and give you insights to optimize energy usage.

Apply green initiatives

Green initiatives such as recycling programs or eco-friendly packaging solutions can also help cut your carbon footprint. As well as demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, initiatives like these also cater for customers who are looking for sustainable options.

Smart manufacturing tech can drive your green initiatives. For instance, digital twins and simulation tools help you to spot inefficient raw material usage and steps can be taken to cut the waste. You can install Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors to monitor waste and identify opportunities for recycling or reusing materials. 

Smart manufacturing tech, such as the O3ai integration platform with its real-time data capture and monitoring is ideal for improving your sustainability efforts. The insights generated by the platform’s built-in analytics tools help you to cut waste, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.


While cutting your carbon footprint might seem like a big challenge at first, there are steps you can take to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and enjoy a more sustainable future. 

Investing in renewable energy sources, increasing operational efficiency, embracing green initiatives, and most importantly, implementing smart Industry 4.0 tech, enables you to meet the decarbonization challenge head-on.

If you want to find out how O3ai helps you become more energy efficient by integrating your systems and connecting all your data, then book a call with one of our expert team today.

Monthly newsletter
No spam. Just the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every month.
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.