Green manufacturing on the rise in Maryland

November 7, 2011

Many states, especially in the Northeast, have been passing laws over the past few years to limit the amount of emissions produced by facilities located in their territory. One of the most ambitious projects with that goal in mind belongs to Maryland, which is attempting to cut its greenhouse emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020. According CityBizList, that effort is now under scrutiny by independent observers.

Specifically, the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) has undertaken a study to discover the outcome of this kind of project. Fortunately, the results are heartening both for the environment as well as production facilities both in that state and around the country.

The study's findings indicate that the largest operating costs that companies might incur would be felt in electricity-intensive industries. Interestingly, these organizations, such as chemical plants, would only see a 1 or 2 percent increase in their energy costs. Conversely, many non-electrically intensive businesses might actually see significant cost savings. Companies, such as those that use printing facilities, can save quite a bit, especially if they register for energy conservation programs such as EmPower Maryland or its out of state equivalents.

This is good news for plants and facilities that worry environmental regulations will reduce their overall effectiveness. However, energy conservation and other advantages seem to be the benefits of embracing this new kind of legislation.

One way to make a whole-hearted effort to join the green revolution is by applying for grants. Both state and federal agencies offer significant grants and loans to businesses that install solar panels or reduce their energy burden in some other fashion. As mentioned, many facilities could even see their energy costs decrease significantly.

Adding jobs, especially those that are considered green and environmentally friendly, can also help plants become the beneficiaries of both good press and public funding. There is a good chance that a jobs bill will be passed in the next year, and it is likely that whatever form it takes, there will be provisions for both facilities that create jobs as well as those whose jobs are ecologically sound.

Given all the interest in green production and environmental consciousness, such installations and alterations can actually increase a facility's value. Whether this means making it more valuable for later sale or simply to leverage in order to accumulate capital for future investments, this is a lucrative movement that plants would do well to follow.