22 Apr, 24

Earth Day 2024: The Role of CMMS Software in Ensuring Environmental Compliance

Charlie McFarlaneBLOGNo Comments

The 22nd of April marks Earth Day 2024. This year’s theme is ‘Planet vs. Plastics’, with activists raising awareness about the damaging effects of plastics. A target has also been set for a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 and to phase out all single-use plastics by 2030.

Plastic aside, Earth Day is the perfect time for all of us to reflect on how well we’re meeting our sustainability goals and to look at how we can improve. In fact, a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) offers various tools that elevate companies’ environmental compliance.

So, in this article, we’ll reflect on the progress towards broader environmental targets and review how CMMS software can help.

What’s the Current Situation?

According to the World Economic Forum, manufacturing and production are responsible for around 20% of global CO2 emissions, while data from Statista lists industrial combustion as one of the largest contributors, responsible for 17% globally. In addition, buildings contribute 8.9% while industrial processes contribute 8.4%.

In the UK specifically, industry is responsible for 23% of the country’s emissions (manufacturing in particular is said to contribute 14%).

Various initiatives are in place worldwide to clean up the sector. To name just a few, the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan is designed to help European industry reach net-zero and speed up decarbonisation by scaling up clean tech manufacturing. In the UK, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recently announced an investment of £11.5 million, awarded to various projects on bio-innovation in manufacturing.

Despite the many positive steps taking place, recent research reveals that only 31% of manufacturing executives in the UK have a decarbonisation plan in place, even though the majority cite sustainability as a priority.

The UK and EU Due to Miss 2030 Targets

Recent reports show that both the UK and EU are going to miss the overall targets set for 2030. This includes Britain’s commitment to reduce emissions by 68% compared to 1990 levels; reports from Norwegian risk manager DNV predict that the reduction will only be 55% by that time.

The European Environment Agency’s 2023 report reviewing progress towards 8th EAP objectives shows that many EU targets are unlikely to be met by 2030. Those listed as ‘unlikely but uncertain’ include reducing raw material consumption and waste generation, the goal for at least 42.5% of energy consumption to come from renewables, and to reduce fossil fuel subsidies.

Those considered very unlikely include doubling the rate of circular material use and reducing the primary and final energy consumption levels to 992.5 million and 763 million tonnes of oil equivalent, respectively.

On the plus side, the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels is listed as ‘likely but uncertain’. In addition, the goal to reduce premature deaths caused by exposure to particulate matter by 55% compared to 2005 levels is considered ‘very likely’.

Of course, meeting such targets requires a monumental effort from government and other key stakeholders across numerous sectors, but individual organisations can contribute in their own ways. One way includes using maintenance management software.

How Does Maintenance Management Software Ensure Sustainable Maintenance Operations?

Beyond the obvious – such as digitisation and reducing paper use – how does CMMS software help you comply with environmental regulations?

OEE Monitoring

Overall Equipment Effectiveness monitoring is a critical metric in manufacturing, serving as a comprehensive indicator of a machine or plant’s operational performance. It promotes sustainability in several ways, outlined below.

Optimising Resource Use

OEE monitoring helps identify inefficiencies in the production process, such as machine downtime and slow rates of production.

Pinpointing these inefficiencies enables companies to take targeted actions to improve their production and maintenance processes, ensuring that resources such as energy, materials, and labour are utilised more effectively and with less waste.

Reducing Waste

Another key component of OEE is assessing the quality rate. Highlighting the proportion of products meeting quality standards versus those considered as scrap or rework helps companies to significantly reduce waste, contributing to more sustainable production practices.

Improving Energy Efficiency

OEE monitoring often reveals opportunities for energy savings, whether through optimising asset performance, reducing the need for equipment to run unnecessarily (thus decreasing idle time), or identifying less energy-intensive ways to maintain production levels.

OEE with Idhammar’s CMMS Software

Our solution features an OEE Monitoring module which provides a granular view of productivity and resource utilisation. The OEE Line Data Portal captures all the data you need, which can then be analysed and inform improvement opportunities.

Whether it’s the real-time monitoring of energy and water consumption, or data on stoppages and timings of production start-ups and breakdowns, you always have real-time intelligence at your fingertips. The data indicates where behaviours and processes need to be adjusted so you can not only reduce your carbon footprint but also your operational costs.

Andon boards are also positioned at each production line. Maintenance teams can then track the impact of any changes in real-time to ensure they deliver the intended benefits.

Our Core Analysis module works hand-in-hand with the OEE monitoring features. It provides what-if reports that show the improvements possible by removing the risk of certain events happening, and advanced analytical tools inform you of the effects of using individual machines, components, or shifts.

How Do Preventive Maintenance Strategies Improve Sustainability?

Maintenance software is key to implementing preventive maintenance scheduling as well as predictive maintenance. How does these asset management strategies improve environmental compliance? There are several ways:

  • Resource optimisation: These proactive maintenance strategies keep equipment in optimal condition at all times, which means resources are used more effectively.
  • Waste reduction: Identifying and rectifying potential problems early minimises the likelihood of breakdowns that can lead to wastage of materials and energy. It also reduces the need for emergency repairs, which often require expedited shipping of parts, sometimes by resource-intensive shipping methods.
  • Extending asset lifetimes: Regular maintenance prolongs the useful life of assets, delaying the need for replacement and reducing the environmental impacts of manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of industrial equipment.
  • Decreasing environmental hazards: Properly maintained equipment is less likely to malfunction in ways that could lead to contamination, such as leaks or emissions exceeding regulatory limits.

Eco-Friendly Inventory Management

Inventory control is an often overlooked aspect of environmental responsibility. However, by optimising stock levels and reducing the need for emergency procurements, this tool minimises the environmental impacts associated with logistics and storage.

Our enterprise asset management software has features such as automatic re-ordering, ensuring stock levels are always ideal. Its real-time inventory management function prevents engineers from having to make multiple journeys when they need to check, book, or acquire parts and components.

Accurate Data Capture and Reporting

Data accuracy is crucial for environmental compliance, and all the features above rely on this in order to give your maintenance team the critical insights they need. Our Data Capture module collects detailed, real-time operational data, helping organisations identify inefficiencies and areas of excess resource consumption, providing a clear roadmap for environmentally focused improvements.

CMMS Reporting

Reporting tools facilitate compliance management and help when communicating environmental performance to stakeholders, reinforcing transparency and accountability. They also transform data into actionable intelligence; dashboards and alerts highlight areas where performance deviates from sustainability benchmarks, enabling swift corrective actions.


Earth Day reminds us of the need to focus on minimising the environmental impacts of our operations. Organisations from any sector can take steps such as digitising manual processes, going paperless, and adopting renewable energy.

As for manufacturing companies and others with assets to maintain, maintenance management tools play a crucial role in assisting environmental compliance. How?

OEE monitoring pinpoints inefficiencies in the production process, including those relating to energy and water consumption. Preventive maintenance ensures that equipment operates within the prescribed environmental standards. And inventory management tools optimise logistics and storage operations which reduces energy and transport use.

To celebrate Earth Day 2024, why not get a close-up look at our leading maintenance management system?

Contact ustoday to request a demo.

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