Manufacturing’s Sustainability Journey: HCM Technology Can Help (Really!)

Manufacturing in the cloud

This is the first of a 2-part blog series that will discuss how adopting digital human capital management technology can support a manufacturing organization’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda.

Whether it’s CSR, ESG (environmental, social, and governance), or some other nomenclature, chances are your organization has a formal initiative in place focused on corporate sustainability. Over the last several years, companies in all industry sectors around the world have made significant investments in programs in an effort to take responsibility for the impact that their organization has on its surroundings, with 70 percent of companies having some form of formal sustainability governance in place.  While the motivation for embarking on a CSR journey certainly varies from organization to organization, it’s clear there is a strong business case for those that do. 

With vast differences in individual company sustainability agendas, two areas frequently targeted as part of a typical CSR strategy include improving the organization’s impact on:

1.    The environment 
2.    Society 

This first blog in the two-part series will focus on the environmental aspect of the CSR strategy. 

The manufacturing industry, long criticized for having a negative impact on the environment due to the nature of its operations, has done a commendable job of implementing more effective sustainability practices in the past several years. In fact, according to the EcoVadis’ Business Sustainability Risk and Performance Index 2020, the four segments of manufacturing take the lead over other industries in both two size groups (SME and large companies) considered in the analysis: 
Weighted Score by Industry: SME (Companies with 26-999 employees)

Weighted Score

Weighted Score by Industry: Large (Companies with 1,000+ employees)

Weighted Score Large Companies


Another journey of continuous improvement 

Upon review of the data above, you can see the weighted sustainability scores for 2019 and also the upward trending of the scores year over year in manufacturing.  For anyone who’s worked in the industry, you know the practice of continuous improvement is engrained in the manufacturing culture. Looking for opportunities to incrementally improve a production process happens every day, both formally and informally. 

This same methodology can also be applied to how manufacturers tackle their sustainability agendas. No one will argue that progress has been made, but it’s clear there is a still a long way to go when you consider the average manufacturing score is currently around 44 on the EcoVadis scale:  

Sustainability Score

This begs the question, what else can manufacturers do to improve sustainability performance, particularly in the area of environmental responsibility? While there are likely opportunities in virtually every facet of your business, there is a piece of low-hanging fruit that you might not have even considered…

Deploy your HR technology in the cloud

One of the most common types of HR technology utilized in manufacturing is time and attendance software, often combined with labor analytics or scheduling software to enable your workforce management strategy. Many manufacturers still utilize legacy timekeeping systems which are deployed on premise in self-managed data centers, which require extensive investments in hardware, physical space, and cooling systems, as well as insurance costs, internal staff to manage these systems, not to mention significant energy and resource consumption.

All of these factors help to create a strong business case for manufacturers to quickly adopt a more modern and environmentally-friendly approach to workforce management by deploying in the cloud. Specifically, the cleanest cloud in the industry.

The Google Cloud: the cleanest in the industry 

Ultimate Kronos Group’s intelligent workforce management platform, UKG Dimensions™, is powered in the Google Cloud, which enables UKG to leverage Google’s substantial investments in infrastructure, networking, security and environmental leadership.

Just a few months ago, Google set an incredibly ambitious energy goal: to run its business on carbon-free energy by 2030. With this announcement, Google became the first cloud provider to make such a commitment. This is just one in a long series of actions taken by Google to demonstrate their commitment to operating its business in an environmentally sustainable way with incredible results:

  • In 2007, Google was the first major company to commit to carbon neutrality 
  • In 2018, Google matched 100% of electricity consumption with renewable energy for the second consecutive year
    • In fact, Google is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy
  • In 2018, Google diverted 87% of waste from global data center operations away from landfills
  • On average, a Google data center is twice as energy efficient as a typical enterprise data center

These are just a few examples of how Google is leading the way in developing more sustainable business practices. Practices that are already in place, which your manufacturing organization can immediately benefit from to power your own sustainability agenda forward. All you have to do is adopt UKG Dimensions, powered in the Google Cloud. 

What are you waiting for?

Learn about the additional benefits of deploying your workforce management solution in the Google Cloud.