By Rich Rovito, Industry Reporter, WMEP

Sustainability can be a terrific way for manufacturers to establish a leadership market position and improve their bottom lines. The Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI) refocuses sustainability efforts around a new concept: Resource Intensity. This refocusing helps companies grow as well as reduce their environmental impact. The PSI creates huge impacts and is the best sustainability program in the nation.

Most sustainability practitioners want you to help them save the world. They think in terms of energy efficiency, recycling, and advanced technology. Almost all of these people focus on reducing the organization’s carbon footprint and environmental impact – no matter what the cost or other associated consequences.

These practitioners usually push an agenda or a product. Neither is bad in and of itself. Still, these agendas and products rarely focus on a particular operation’s improvement needs. The quantity of these approaches makes it difficult for small businesses to sort through the alternatives and find what is best for their companies.

Resource Intensity (RI) changes the sustainability game. It is a ratio of the amount of resource used divided by production output. The PSI seeks to drive this ratio lower and provides a better focus than traditional models. After all, the easiest way to reduce consumption and environmental impact is to close the operation. Instead, this measure provides a path to growth and expansion while reducing the environmental footprint.

The PSI operates in a unique position. Almost all of the sustainability players work on the RI numerator, pushing a product or agenda to reduce resource consumption. We know most of these players and can help operators engage the solutions that can help their businesses the most.  In addition, WMEP specialists are the experts in improving output, increasing the denominator of the equation and reducing Resource Intensity.

The results have been terrific! We created over $240 million of financial impact for small and medium manufacturers throughout Wisconsin, while reducing carbon footprints by more than 65,140 tons. All of these results come from a strong resource network working together to improve operations…and save the world!

Engage with the WMEP and see how the PSI can help your operation.