Unlocking $700 Billion: How data-driven sustainability can revolutionize the Consumer Packaged Goods industry

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According to a report by the World Economic Forum, upstream food loss and downstream waste amount to roughly $700 billion in industrialized countries. McKinsey & Company found that operational efficiency gaps for pharmaceutical manufacturers amount to a value of at least $65 billion. Optimizing sustainability and efficiency in food and beverage or pharmaceutical manufacturing operations could substantially reduce waste and emissions while saving the industry billions. Can data drive such a big improvement?

A group of business people looking at charts on a wall of computer screens.
By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, manufacturers can optimize processes, reduce waste, and enhance efficiency across their facilities.

So many potential savings are on the table that the question must be explored. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers are eager to use digitalization and cloud-based data management tools to improve their organizations. Many clients have started this data-driven journey and are seeing quick and substantial returns on their data management investment. They use their newfound operational efficiencies as a springboard to long-term savings and sustainability.

However, once they’ve addressed the low-hanging fruit within their facilities’ four walls, many organizations ask how they can wring incremental improvements and cost savings from their operations. Often, the answer is to take an enterprise- or even eco-system-wide approach to optimization.

Data multiplicity creates barriers to sustainable operations

Improving efficiency and sustainability on a major inter-enterprise scale takes careful coordination. Success depends on stakeholders at all levels of the organization having enterprise-wide visibility and easy access to standardized data for decision-making.

That’s easier said than done. Let’s start with the challenge of measuring energy and water usage, carbon emissions, and other sustainability metrics. Companies will need to aggregate and manage extraordinarily high volumes of data from diverse inputs inside and outside the manufacturing environment.

At the same time, they must ensure that data collected from a multitude of siloed production areas is consistent, accurate, and of the highest quality. Data must be harmonized to account for differences in reporting standards and variations in data sets. Otherwise, differences can unintentionally muddy the waters when it comes to decision-making.

Geography adds another layer of complexity to achieving sustainable operations

These challenges are compounded when managing facilities globally. Geographical differences make optimizing processes and setting reduction targets for energy, emissions, waste, and other sustainability metrics much harder. Companies must contend with regional industry standards, energy costs, regulations, compliance requirements, and other factors that make it difficult to benchmark and implement best practices across a global enterprise, much less up and down the value chain.

Intelligent operations centers provide visibility and operational awareness

There are modern solutions for these modern challenges. CPG manufacturers seeking to improve efficiency and sustainability can achieve real-time visibility into every aspect of their global enterprise through an intelligent operations center. The centralized platform provides a single pane of glass for integrating, analyzing, and visualizing data from diverse sources. It’s an end-to-end view of operations. Manufacturers can more easily identify inefficiencies, optimize resource utilization, implement targeted interventions to reduce waste and energy consumption, and track and manage scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Sustainability starts with data-driven solutions from trading partners

Innovative companies such as Schneider Electric offer flexible, scalable solutions customized to help food, beverage, and life science manufacturers meet their sustainability and efficiency goals. A prime example is the AVEVA Unified Operations Center (UOC). It is a powerful tool that enables companies to visualize and securely share real-time data within their network.

Data must be at the center of any solution. Not only central, that data must also be as reliable and as secure as possible. AVEVA UOC integrates and standardizes real-time and historical data from production processes, energy consumption, supply chain operations, environmental factors, and other sources. It combines AI with machine learning and advanced analytics to uncover patterns and anomalies. Its customizable dashboards intuitively visualize key performance indicators (KPIs) for data-driven insights into sustainability performance and operational efficiency. Overall, these facilitate decision-making and collaboration between stakeholders in all corners and levels of the organization to drive continuous improvement.

Choose the right partner for digital transformation

Where is a good place to start? Manufacturers should partner with established companies with food and beverage and life science industry experience and a proven track record of success when looking for sustainability solutions. Schneider Electric deeply understands energy management, automation, and digitalization. Combined with AVEVA’s expertise in industrial software and digital transformation across numerous industries, this creates a powerful synergy that addresses the complex challenges CPG manufacturers face. Their collaborative approach enables companies to leverage cutting-edge technologies, data-driven insights, and best practices. These help to achieve their sustainability goals, improve operational performance, and stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape.

For more information

Visit our food & beverage business solutions page to discover how Schneider Electric partners with CPG manufacturers to promote operational efficiency and sustainability.

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