Reading through the surveys that have been conducted by various organizations in the last one decade, I have come to the conclusion that there are three major reasons as to why industrialists are reluctant to embrace the sustainable manufacturing model.
Firstly, there are some industrialists who are reluctant to embrace the sustainable manufacturing model because they feel that it is not likely to be very profitable. This is understandable. It is just like the way the financial institutions were initially uncomfortable with the idea of lending money to the masses through credit cards. Yet the credit card concept has actually turned out to be one that is very profitable to the bankers in the long run, as they are able to lend more money to more people at much higher interest rates than would have been possible without the credit cards. We see a similar initial discomfort (to the concept of sustainable manufacturing) when the concept is introduced to industrialists: thanks to the fact that the industrialists don’t (yet) see how the sustainable manufacturing concept is likely to be beneficial to them in the long run.
Secondly, there are some industrialists who are reluctant to embrace the sustainable manufacturing model because of concerns about the specialized skills that are required in the sustainable manufacturing system. Indeed, lack of skills (and other related concerns) turns out to be a major issue in the entire sustainable economic model.
Thirdly, there are many industrialists who are reluctant to embrace the sustainable manufacturing model because they are simply not conversant with it. Many of the industrialists turn out to be old school folks, who have no understanding about the current debates which revolve around issues like climate change, global warming, sustainability and so on. Getting them to understand what sustainable manufacturing is all about is hard enough. Getting them to embrace it – which may entail buying new equipment for their plants, getting into contracts with new suppliers, employing new people (or retraining the existing staff)… and so on – is likely to be an even greater challenge.