What does it take for a nation to become the home of supply chain and manufacturing practices that include minimal waste and prevention practices?
Improving supply chain and manufacturing methods, and educating consumers to demand greener electronics, and also less packaging is a good start for any supply chain wishing to contribute responsibly to a cleaner environment while doing its business.
As someone who cares about the environment, I am worried about the damage that humanity has been causing for decades now, not only to the environment that we all share, but also to the species living in it. For this reason, I was very pleased to learn that on March 26, the US Energy Department launched the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI).
through improvements in manufacturing energy productivity.
The initiative focuses on “growing American manufacturing of clean energy products and boosting U.S. competitiveness across all sectors through major improvements in manufacturing energy productivity.” This is a part of the Obama administration's commitment to revitalizing all aspects of local manufacturing. A great, and so much needed, initiative, indeed.
Last year, here on EBN, we discussed plenty about bringing manufacturing back to the US: What could be done, how could it be done, and who should take the first step? This new initiative positively affects the US electronics supply chain in a positive manner.
So, what does the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative mean for the supply chain? According to the Solar Foundation, roughly 30,000 jobs in the solar sector in the US are in manufacturing.
The US wind supply chain has grown in recent years. Nearly 70 percent of the component parts of wind installations in the United States are being sourced domestically. All this effort translates into a means of reducing local and global air pollution. It also contributes to 7.9 percent reduction in computers and electronics supply chain.
According to the US Department of Energy, with the recent opening to manufacturers of a state-of-the-art $35 million Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., clean energy companies and researchers are provided with a test bed for the development of less expensive, better performing carbon fiber materials, and manufacturing processes. In addition to the melt-spun fiber line to produce raw fiber materials, the facility expects to add a conversion line within this year. They also expect to produce 25 tons of carbon fiber annually.
Steel and aluminum are normally less expensive and easier to manufacture than carbon fiber. Now, the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility will help manufacturers lower the cost of production of their products. In turn, this will reduce end consumer prices. A win-win-situation, indeed.
The new Carbon Fiber Technology Facility represents a great potential in positioning the US in the international growing carbon fiber manufacturing sector. Finally, what is good for the environment is good for us.