Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit

Step-by-step guidance


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)


Manufacturing industries account for significant environmental impacts, as well as economic activity. Companies with a clear idea of how to improve their impacts – based on sound data – stand to benefit by reducing their environmental burdens, saving money and time, as well as potentially innovating new products and opening up markets.

In 2011, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) asked us to produce a toolkit on sustainable manufacturing to provide simple step-by-step guidance, including: setting out the business case; identifying appropriate indicators to measure and manage performance; and demonstrating good practice case-studies drawn from around the world. The toolkit, launched in September 2011, consisted of a start-up guide, indicators and web portal to guide users through seven action steps:



Map your impact and set priorities
Bring together an internal sustainability team to set objectives, review your environmental impact and decide on priorities.


Select useful performance indicators
Identify indicators that are important for your business and what data should be collected to help drive continuous improvement.



Measure the inputs used in production
Identify how materials and components used in your production processes influence environmental performance.


Assess facility operations
Consider the impact and efficiency of the operations in your facility (e.g. energy intensity, greenhouse gas generation, emissions to air and water).


Evaluate your products
Identify factors such as energy consumption in use, recyclability and use of hazardous substances to help determine the sustainability of your end product.



Understand measured results
Read and interpret your indicators and understand trends in performance.


Take action to improve performance
Choose opportunities to improve your performance and create action plans to implement them.