Understanding the Impact of The Aerospace Industry & the Environment
From major aircraft manufacturers to smaller supplies, virtually every branch of the aerospace industry is exploring sustainability and sustainable alternatives to common practices and materials. Many of the big names—Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, Airbus, Kaiser—have made public announcements about their sustainability initiatives and promises as they work to create more sustainable aircraft. And lots of smaller players are following suit.
Because the industry is so diverse and far-reaching, aerospace companies are pursuing many different strategies for sustainability and eco-consciousness. Some areas being explored include:
- Energy consumption. Aerospace manufacturers are reducing energy consumption in manufacturing and developing aircraft that consume less fuel or utilize more sustainable energy sources.
- Water consumption. Many sectors are exploring new manufacturing techniques that consume less fresh water.
- Waste reduction. Efficient manufacturing practices and strategic buying can result in less waste of materials and unused components. Additionally, aerospace manufacturers are experimenting with both recycled materials and closed-loop recycling systems.
- CO2 emissions. Many aerospace companies are leveraging the above strategies and others to decrease their carbon footprint or work toward carbon neutrality.
- Material selection. Many aircraft and component manufacturers are phasing out hazardous materials that may pose a threat to the environment. In the aerospace industry, more than 1,700 materials are subject to regulatory oversight. Initiatives such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACh) play a vital role in this shift.
Sustainability is also being lauded as a sign of innovation and smart business. Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director of The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), has stated, “It’s clear that the most innovative companies are those that have adopted a green mindset.”
How NMG Reduces Waste & Pollution
At NMG Aerospace, sustainability and conservation are important to us. We’ve initiated a number of sustainable practices at our manufacturing facilities, and we’re always investigating ways to take our green approach to the next level. Here are a few things we do to play our part:
Reducing and Recycling Materials
Material waste can be a major challenge in the world of manufacturing. That’s why we strive to recycle as much as we possibly can. This includes plastic materials and machining debris, such as metal chips or rejected parts. We also buy smaller stock for machining aerospace components so we can reduce waste overall. Whenever possible, we rework parts rather than throwing them out.
Better Facility Practices
In addition to better material management and recycling, we’ve also adopted many basic practices to cut down on energy consumption and carbon output in our own buildings and facilities. For example, all of our lights are programmed to turn off automatically, so not a single bulb is left burning longer than necessary. Small steps like this add up over time, which is why we never hesitate to adopt even the most minor adjustment to make our business more sustainable.
More Efficient Packaging
Anyone who has ever ordered something online is familiar with the phenomenon of an oversized box with a single, comically small item inside. While this may be amusing, it’s an environmental error for several reasons. First, oversized packaging requires the consumption of substantially more material than is necessary. Second, shipping an oversized package drives up our collective shipping carbon footprint.
NMG is committed to right-sized packaging for every shipment, so we can use our shipping materials more efficiently and reduce our shipping carbon footprint.
Our Commitment to Sustainable Manufacturing Practices
With over 40 years of experience, NMG has played a long-standing role in the aerospace industry’s ongoing journey toward greater sustainability. From our on-site initiatives to our manufacturing practices, we’re proud to support our customers as they strive to build a more sustainable aircraft.
To learn more about sustainable aerospace component manufacturing and what we do at NMG, talk to a member of our team >