Feature Article Sustainable Development in Investment Casting by John Slawvey, Purchasing Director Vestshell Inc. T

he history of sustainable development is a concept that was formed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. All investment casting companies can benefit by implementing a sustainable development program. In turn, your company will be a much greener, environmental friendly, more visibility

in the community, better

workplace and environment for the employees, and more profitable. Sustainable development would be

the next evolution to circular Economy. There are 4 main components of the

sustainable development program: 1) Governance, 2) Economy, 3) Social, 4) Environment. Each component or axis has many sub components. These are broken down into projects under the sustainable development program. Economy, Social and

Environment intersect with the

Governance axis and all other sections intersects with each other. Governance may contain the follow- ing sub axis. Corporate goals, business plans, corporate strategies, international trade, economic policies & procedures, communication technologies, custom- er service, management, organization and governance, laws, marketing, asso- ciations, business culture, procurement, ethics, and many other topics. Social may

contain, training &

education, employees welfare and safety, social benefits, human development, bonuses, working conditions, rules and regulations, cultural, donations to charities, and many others topics. Economy may contain, pricing, expenditures

capital for new or

upgrades in equipment (CAPEX), new technologies, physical plant expenses, finance, sales forecasts, business expansion, loans, banking and many

32 ❘ January 2021 ®

other topics Environment may contain, Green & Eco responsible procurement, recyclable materials, 2nd life for waste products, lower CO2

project (Solar Panels) to reduce energy consumption,


emissions’, green consumption,

respect environmental laws, reduce, reuse, recycle when possible, optimize transport, and more. Each section of the sustainable

development may contain many sub sections. These subsections will be based on the company’s Governance and which items will most benefit the organization, suppliers,

employees, shareholders, customers, environment,

public relations and neighborhood. Most subsection can be a quick win situation. It is important to have all employees participate in the projects. For example from our own experience, recycling of paper and cardboard was very easy to incorporate. All employees were on board to do their part in helping to save the environment. The easiest way to implement a sustainable development program in your company is to have the management team set up achievable goals in the corporate planning, include short term and long term goals. A good method is brainstorming with the management team and or supervisors. Corporate values, visions and projects need to be establish by documenting future goals and visions for the company. For success you must have the of

collaborations all employees and

have them involved in the process. This is important if you wish to change the culture in your enterprise. To implement the program, it is only as good as the weakest link in the chain. Culture and the way of doing business is not always easy to change. There are many environmental

Environment From my personal experience, the easiest section to begin your process would be environment. Start with something simple. Recycling of paper and cardboard. The next step for the environment

would be analyzing all your waste materials that are sent to the landfill every year. You will be surprised how much waste is produced and disposed that can be easily recycled. Some examples are wooden pallets, plastics, packaging materials, metal, tin cans, and others. Once you have a list of all your

waste products, you can contact local environmental agencies to find out what would be the best way to recycle or reuse these materials. Once a method has been established, create procedures and work instruction for each material. Once you have the documentation in hand, it’s time to implement training courses for everyone. This includes all management, supervisors and employees. It would be beneficial if the company can include documents and environmental goals in their mission statement. A good way to keep everyone informed on the progress

agencies, sustainable development agencies, government agencies, consultants, local colleges and universities that can guide and help you in the process of obtaining your goals to implement a sustainable development program in you company. It is important to set goals and KPI’s with timelines for each project to ensure advancement in each section. You can form special committees to work on each of your goals. Include at least one person from management, supervisor(s) and employees in each group. You may be surprised at the ideas your employees will have for the projects.

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