Main content area

Energy management in manufacturing: Toward eco-factories of the future – A focus group study

May, Gökan, Stahl, Bojan, Taisch, Marco
Applied energy 2016 v.164 pp. 628-638
eco-efficiency, energy, environmental performance, experts, humans, manufacturing, sustainable technology
The integration of environmental sustainability and eco-efficiency has been recognized as a means to foster economic and environmental performance, increase competitiveness and use it as a lever to spur innovation. Besides integrating green technologies in the manufacturing system, putting environmental goals on the company agenda, and pursuing green norms and directives, the question is: quo vadis eco-factory? Based on a focus group study with 22 European experts and high-level representatives from industry, policy-makers and academia, we raised the question of what might be the research directions and solutions for eco-factories in the next 20years. Our two major findings suggest that (i) research should more focus on the opportunities that human participants in a manufacturing system can foster change toward eco-factories and that (ii) firm-intern characteristics like enabling environmental capability, organization and structure will likely determine upon successful transition and increased competitiveness.