Additive manufacturing and sustainability: how to deploy the corporate strategy

Additive manufacturing offers real benefits when it is matter of reducing your ecological footprint. The materials are only used when they are needed, thereby reducing waste. Production is typically more local, significantly reducing transportation and the carbon footprint. The technology furthers the circular economy approach by re-using recycled waste to create new materials. The question of sustainability is a major issue for all companies in the current environment. And notably those under government pressure to reduce toxic emissions and waste. Additive manufacturing therefore offers specific advantages and solutions. But how can the market become even more sustainable, especially on an industrial scale?

Kimya’s “additive manufacturing” activity began with this sustainable development issue. Our first filaments were developed by recycling our ink cartridges and old yoghurt pots. The circular economy approach has always been central to our strategy. And it will continue to be so: some of our materials are 100% recycled. This is why the issue of sustainability and additive manufacturing is fundamental.

Additive manufacturing and sustainability: how to deploy your strategy

A recent study conducted by the recruitment firm Alexander Daniels Global identified the key behaviors that companies must adopt. And also the questions they must ask themselves in order to accentuate the sustainability aspect and turn 3D technologies into greener production methods. Firstly, a clear strategy must be established. A strategy that must be supported by senior management and involve employee training and commitment. Companies must then recruit sustainability experts able to provide their skills and experience in order to meet this truly global challenge.  

Leadership, personal skills and specialist know-how are key factors in establishing an effective strategy (photo credits: Alexander Daniels Global)

Although the process may appear to be straightforward, the study emphasizes that it is much more complicated in practice. Although this ecological issue is of major current concern for many organizations, they are frequently confronted with the following problem: identifying a manager who can drive the new strategy forward. If there is no sustainable development manager, who should sponsor the project? The CEO? Human Resources? So these questions have to be addressed and the resources provided in order to successfully deploy and manage the change. Steps which already appear to be more complicated.

The study highlights three areas of personal skills required to successfully implement the sustainability strategy: creativity, the resolution of complex problems and stakeholder coordination. Although additive manufacturing means having technical skills by definition, sustainability issues call for additional personnel development. It calls for different modes of thought and action. Everything must therefore transit via clear communication fully owned by senior management. Support from experts and partners in the field can also be a crucial advantage. Notably when it comes to deploying the more sustainable strategy.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to implement a strategy based on additive manufacturing and sustainability: our experts are here to help you select your materials and solutions.