Sustainable Production
  • Products and services are ecologically safe through out their life cycle
  • Processes and technologies minimize or eliminate hazards and wastes
  • Workers are valued and their creativity, skills, and capabilities are continuously developed
  • Communities are respected and enhanced economically, socially, culturally, and physically
Lowell Center for Sustainable Production

Talking Points
  • Products and services conserve on resources and are not harmful throughout their life cycle
    • consider entire life cycle
    • durable, repairable, recyclable, compostable
    • use minimal and appropriate energy, material and packaging
  • Production processes are designed and operated to conserve resources (including energy) and minimize hazards and wastes
  • Workers are a company's most important resource
  • Communities, both those surrounding a facility and those far away, are treated with respect and care
  • Economic viability does not require unsustainable use of resources or ever-increasing consumption of energy and materials

(Note: This slide and the next focus on production in a sustainable world. The presenter should consider the needs of the audience and may consider using only one of the two. The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production information may work better with a general community audience. The Natural Step deals with very basic concepts but can be difficult to explain in a very short period of time to a non-technical audience. The Natural Step information may work better with an audience with an engineering or scientific background.)

A sustainable community has businesses that work both to improve the long term viability of the community, but also to improve conditions within the community as it is today. That business operates on principles that are based on a foundation of sustainable development. A key point for sustainable production is that the company's overall success cannot be dependent upon unsustainable consumption patterns.

A product's life cycle begins with the mining or harvesting of the raw materials, ends when the product is finally disposed of, and includes all the points in between: transporting raw material, the manufacturing process, transporting to the vendor, and actual use by the consumer.

Products and services must use appropriate materials and energy. Depending on the product or service, they should be durable, repairable, recyclable, compostable, and use minimal and appropriate energy, material and packaging. For example, an item designed for long term use such as a car, should be durable, easily repairable and made of parts that can be recycled. An item designed for short term use, such as soda, should be in a package that is readily recyclable by the consumer in that consumer's community.

Sustainable production includes processes that are ecologically sound, preserve resources and energy, but also embodies a company mindset that places high value on employees and communities.

The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production works with businesses, government, communities and workers to develop and promote new ways of production that make sense in a sustainable community.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.