Having a sustainability strategy provides companies a competitive advantage. 


The manufacturing and maquila industry in Jalisco is raising awareness in favor of sustainable and environmental policies that protect their environment.  And that is that a sustainability strategy provides companies an added value and create a competitive advantage.


The organizations that implement some sustainability strategy not only benefit environmental preservation, they are also favored with an increase in efficiency, costs reduction and the positioning of the company image.


Juan Alberto Porras Brambila, president of the Regional Chamber of the Transformation Industry of the State of Jalisco (CAREINTRA, by its Spanish initials) explained to Mexico Industry how this Association promotes environmental care among all its members.


“CAREINTRA is the only Chamber environmentally certified, we are in phase two of certification, inside the Chamber there is a sustainable commission in charge of advising companies in all and every process, seeking to decrease environmental impact and comply with the entire regulation, those willing to go beyond, seek these certifications,” detailed the industrial leader.


The Commission – he said – is integrated by a group of consultants from CAREINTRA, which provides advisory to all its members, in subjects like regulations and environmental laws compliance.  Among the companies they advise are Romo Plastik, Casther, Evans, and Beccar, among others.


According to the president, in order for environmental actions be effective it is necessary to work together with universities and Government.


“What we are doing first is acting directly with the Government, because this way environmental damage can be avoided, if we are able to establish policies between Government and industry we will decrease ecological damages from malpractice of Government industry, the important thing is to pay attention to that part.  Act first, communicate later,” said Porras Brambila.


Moreover, the businessmen underlined that currently at dumps in the State is difficult to find postindustrial wastes, due to their treatment.


“If you seek commercial or industrial wastes in the landfill, you will not find them, all companies dedicated to collect wastes from the industry sometimes have sophisticated processes to be able to revalue them, or dispose of them with suitable treatment to be disposed, there are things that are impossible to recycling, but in the worst case scenario, a neutralization of materials can be sought or an incinerator to generate energy and will be the last step for recycling,” he detailed.  


Porras advised industrials for non-recycling wastes incinerate them to generate energy.


“There are two criteria in the industry to know if a material can be recyclable or not: number one, for it to be technically recyclable, that processes and applications can generate a new waste; the other one, to be economically viable, what does this means, if we are going to recycle and what we are recycling is more expensive than a virgin material, obviously that is not recycling, we have to seek for the markets that allow us that revalorization and that it is attractive,” he explained.


“All that that in some way cannot be recycled is susceptible to being used on a plasma furnace that does not generate more than percent of ashes and no emissions toward the atmosphere, these furnaces have much technology that generates electric power.”


STEPS TO BECOME A GREEN INDUSTRY


The researcher Bernardo Gudino Guzman, from the Centro Universitario de Ciencias Exactas e Ingenieria, from the department of chemistry and specialized in the analytic electrochemistry area, recommended industrials willing to be sustainable to fulfill the CRETIB study (Corrosive, Reactive, Explosive, Toxic, Inflammable and Infectious Biological.)


“By official standard, the first thing to do is know if it is hazardous or not, a study is performed called CRETIB to prove if wastes being generated have to have special disposal or can be treated in a simple manner, in case of not being dangerous,” he detailed.


Gudino Guzman considered that there are more companies in Jalisco concern about wastes treatment thanks to environmental standards, but even though they are not a majority.


“In case of Jalisco there are many companies dedicated to collection and treatment of wastes, most of the companies comply the requirements, because the Ministry of Environment and Territorial Development (SEMADET, by its Spanish initials) requires it, and also the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT, by its Spanish initials) but there are some companies that do not do this.”


Wastes management depends on the sector of the industry, in recent research from Doctor Bernardo Gudino have been managed to separate lead from muds from treatment plants thanks to electrodes.


“My area is electrochemistry, we are seeking for muds from treatment plants – which usually have heavy metals and are considered hazardous materials – instead of confining them as muds which are gigantic volumes, these muds are dissolved and provide them with a consistency of suspension; with gigantic electrodes we apply an electric field for metals in the mud migrate to the electrodes and those metals are reduced to the metal and we can even totally recycle them, for example, the lead.  We have seen it works, we are willing to make it more efficient and then escalate it,” he noted.


GOVERNMENT GETS INVOLVED


Meanwhile, the Government of the state of Jalisco, through Bernardo Pulido Valdes, general coordinator of Sustainability of the Productive Sector, is involved together with companies for them to pollute less and have a cleaner ecosystem.


“Currently the demand is to be sustainable, because the ecology, is economy and vice versa, this does not mean that sustainable practices will diminish the economic development or jobs, on the contrary, it has to be incorporated.  Given savings will generate more wealth and that way have to be generated from now on,” said Pulido.


He considered that if we all think in a sustainable manner, we will inherit the next generations a world less contaminated and with a higher average of the existence of the planet and its living beings, including humans.


“I would like for all of us, in all levels, company, and institution and in personal basis, be marvel as much as I do with the sustainability concept, which is assuring the current survival of our generation, without damaging future generations, that concept is fascinating because it centers in human being.  I believe that if we care about the environment, we are making it for our families and together, the demand is huge and has to be done every day,” he ended.