Material Audits Bring SavingsA material audit is a practical tool for companies to improve the efficiency of their operations and to manage their material flows. With material audits it is possible to identify those stages of the production process where reductions can be made in the use of materials, the amount of waste that is produced and environmental impacts. The audit also brings significant financial savings.
The material audit results in specific proposals on what measures to take to guarantee savings. An estimate is made of the benefits of these measures, the potential for savings and possible investment needs, plus suggestions for further action. Based on the material audit it is easy for companies to begin to carry out improvements systematically.
The results of the first material audits carried out in Finland have been promising. In the audits an average of 40-100 concrete savings measures were identified. The calculated yearly savings potential in the material audits carried out in five medium-sized industrial enterprises was EUR 0.3-1 million a year per company, of which an estimated 20-50% is realized during the first year. The savings potential of a single material flow is reckoned to be as much as 30%.
Benefits of material audits:
- Cost savings in raw material purchases
- Savings in energy and labour costs
- Improved business competitiveness
- Reduced use of natural resources
- Reduced environmental burden (e.g. CO2-emissions)
- Forecasting of tighter permit and other requirements
- Improvement of company environmental image
- Improvement of company material efficiency know-how