This review focuses on the fact that there are many ways to be green, and American manufacturers are trying them all. From reducing energy use and recycling water to implementing ISO 14001 sustainability programs and reusing packaging, US factories are embracing a more environmentally sensitive manufacturing ethos as fast as they can. There are many ways to be green. Ratcheting down energy use, for example, automatically reduces a plant’s carbon footprint, because either it burns less natural gas or it buys less electricity from a power plant that burns coal or gas. Companies around the nation have also turned their Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, and other tools on solid waste. If a material does not add value to a product, they eliminate it. Many work with vendors to reduce packaging. The less packaging, the less energy is used in a product. Capital projects are even harder to push through, yet they are necessary for further gains once companies have plucked waste reduction’s low-hanging fruit.

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