Modern companies are encouraged to be less wasteful and more considerate of how they affect the natural environment.
Continuous improvement is the practice of continually making small adjustments to production techniques to improve speed and quality and save resources. This process is known in industry by the Japanese name ‘Kaizen’, and it encourages people to work together and give regular feedback to make small improvements. This can increase productivity and create team harmony.
It is important to ensure that companies work in an efficient manner. This includes increasing the speed of production, reducing errors and reducing waste, which can be done by utilising automation or computer aided manufacture (CAM). Implementing quality control checks ensures that errors are quickly spotted and provides the customer with reassurance.
Pollution is caused when harmful substances are released into the natural environment. Pollution can occur in the air, water or natural land. Legislation has been brought in to help with this issue. For example, in the UK cosmetic products can no longer contain plastic microbeads as these were previously polluting the ocean. Harmful products, such as batteries, should be disposed of correctly, and companies are being encouraged by government incentives to recycle waste wherever possible.
Manufacturing processes in factories or the use of day-to-day products like cars can cause harmful chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, to be released. These chemicals pollute the air and natural land. Worldwide environmental awareness has led to limitations on the levels of pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as targets on renewable energy generation, to try to stop global warming. The development of more efficient electrical products, such as low-energy light bulbs, and better building insulation has cut down on energy costs. Some countries offer incentives to increase the use of emission controls, electric vehicles and energy-saving devices, such as better insulation and automatic shut-off devices.