Identifying Priority Projects to Enhance Sustainable Manufacturing

Client: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
metal welding manufacturing materials water spraying during industrial process priority areas for sustainable manufacturing graphic ASME Sustainable Products and Processes Strategic Plan report cover

Project Overview

We worked with ASME to develop a strategic plan that identifies priority projects that ASME can undertake to enhance sustainable manufacturing.

Need

Manufacturing is critical to the stability and growth of the U.S. economy. But, it also consumes vast amounts of energy and natural resources, produces substantial emissions, and creates significant quantities of waste—according to the EPA, each year approximately 7.6 billion tons of industrial solid waste are generated and disposed of at American industrial facilities, and industrial processes alone produce 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The need to both manufacture goods in a way that increases economic gain and reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing is a challenging issue. Sustainable manufacturing, through product design for sustainability, the implementation of sustainable manufacturing processes, and a sustainable approach to water management, offers a solution.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) could have a significant role in increasing the use of sustainable manufacturing by bringing objectivity and expertise to defining what constitutes a sustainable product or process. To help identify projects that could guide ASME's sustainability efforts, ASME asked Nexight to provide facilitation and communications support.

Our Solution

Nexight worked with ASME to facilitate a strategic planning workshop with a committee of leading experts, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army, national laboratories, universities, and leading auto manufacturers and suppliers. The workshop focused on identifying high-priority projects that leverage ASME’s unique resources and capabilities to address sustainability concerns.

We captured the results of the workshop to develop a strategic plan that outlines activities ASME can accomplish that have the greatest potential for improving sustainability.

Impact

The strategic plan's collection of activities, which focus on developing sustainability standards, establishing methodologies, hosting conferences and seminars, educating engineers and consumers, and conducting collaborative research projects, will provide ASME with a targeted path forward for achieving a more sustainable manufacturing sector.