Environmental Impacts of Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the application of labor and tools to raw materials to produce goods for use or sale. It ranges from handicrafts to large-scale industrial production. The hallmarks of industrial-scale production include the use of motorized machinery and a division of labor, both vastly increasing productivity and production compared with earlier manufacturing, with a commensurate increase in intensity and scale of environmental impacts. Environmental impacts can be divided into those associated with the procurement, use, and by-products of energy, water, and materials for manufacturing. The geography of impacts has changed dramatically: Regulations and technological innovations have helped reduce the impacts in industrialized countries, but globalization has shifted higher-impact manufacturing to lower-wage/regulation economies. There are several theorizations of approaches to control the environmental impacts of manufacturing.


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