Operational Factors that Can Help Manufacturing Firms Transition to Green Enterprises
Ramesh K. Agarwal.
This paper examines some of the hindrances in moving the small and medium size
manufacturing firms, with revenues ranging from U.S 1 to 50 million dollars, towards sustainability
conscious and environmentally responsible corporate culture. Economic cost and benefits of transition
to greener enterprise with greater energy efficiency and waste management in operations are
estimated. Case studies of five manufacturing firms in the state of Missouri in US are conducted.
Short and long term approaches to achieve the goals of energy conservation and waste/pollution
reduction are determined in consultation with the company’s senior management; these are based on
the evolutionary changes/innovations and economic sustainability. The companies are revisited after
one year and two years to assess the implementation and its outcome. The successes and failures are
noted and are used to generate new ideas and approaches. Some of the lessons learned can be used to improve the
entrepreneurial approaches as the manufacturing firm transitions towards environmentally responsible economically
Keywords: Environmentally sustainable manufacturing, Evolutionary innovation, Transition to green enterprise, Technology
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