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Using Business Intelligence to Improve Manufacturing Sustainability: Reducing Environmental Impact and Carbon Footprint

Until recently, the manufacturing industry has looked at dashboards and other business intelligence (BI) tools as ‘point solutions’, focusing on single-use cases for individual products or platforms. The problem is that this kind of narrow-focus BI implementation is inherently limited.

A truely integrated BI tool can offer more than a holistic understanding of your operations. It can reduce the wastefulness of your processes and improve the overall sustainability of your operations substantially.


Sustainability is incredibly important now, and nowhere more than in the manufacturing industry.

Even if you don’t have strong personal feelings about the need to reduce the ecological impact of human activity on the environment, there can be little argument that increased sustainability makes good business sense. All else being equal, your customers, your business partners, and often the regulatory structures you operate under are becoming more sympathetic to companies who operate sustainably every day.

Here are four ways that implementing a better BI solution for you can make your operations more environmentally friendly, more economically responsible, and more environmentally sustainable, as well as more profitable.

  1. Better business intelligence tools allow – and encourage – more sustainable decisions

    Wyn Enterprise can implement a series of manufacturing dashboards for you, drawing from a coordinated data stream, but focusing on the side of operations unique to each stakeholder. Internal stakeholders can be given all the information they need to see the economic and environmental impact of their business decisions, encouraging them to take a more comprehensive view and aligning their actions to the organization’s long-term environmental goals.

    Those stakeholders don’t need to be purely internal, though. Supplier side dashboards can be set up to encourage each of your suppliers to reduce their own environmental impacts.

    You can even adopt customer-focused dashboards to encourage your buyers to choose more sustainable options, driving demand and, therefore, profitability for more sustainable production.

  2. Combining multiple data sources drives synergy

    A well-designed BI tool such as a manufacturing dashboard can show the exact, up-to-the-minute environmental impact of each of your products, including their entire supply chains. Combining that data with end-user purchasing data can allow better cooperation throughout the entire chain.

    Both upstream and downstream decisions can be made more efficiently, and with a deliberate eye towards sustainability. A cynical analysis could suggest that even where a bias for sustainability is absent, the increased transparency such a BI system puts in place can do just as much good.

  3. Constantly updated data drives constant improvement

    Making the most of a manufacturing dashboard or other BI implementation means connecting data streams via an API. This makes them continually updatable, and lets both you and your business partners see the results of their policies in near-real time.  

  4. More precise environmental measurement

    Most manufacturers today depend on many separate suppliers, each with their own chains. The majority of a manufacturer’s carbon and environmental footprint often comes from their suppliers rather than their own processes. Therefore, better business intelligence tools offering deeper insights into those chains can allow you to make choices that improve your overall sustainability dramatically – often without overpaying for the privilege. 

Modern business intelligence tools give manufacturers in nearly every market the ability to better integrate data that had once been siloed separately all across their operations, and leverage them as a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. To see what such BI tools can do for you, talk to Wyn Enterprise today.

Kristi Carignan

Kristi Carignan is an award-winning freelance writer with over 20 years of professional experience supporting global agencies and brands. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Literature and Economics from the University of British Columbia. Her hobbies include making connections on LinkedIn, home renovation, interior design, travel and sleep.

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