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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative and Public-Private Dialogue

This website will serve as your information portal on what the U.S. Department of Commerce and other federal government agencies are doing to support sustainable manufacturing in America.

In order to offer effective and continued support to U.S. companies in their sustainable manufacturing efforts, Commerce’s Manufacturing & Services unit has launched a Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) and Public-Private Dialogue that aims to a) identify U.S. industry’s most pressing sustainable manufacturing challenges and b) coordinate public and private sector efforts to address these challenges.
On this website you will find:

  • Information about Commerce’s Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI) and Public-Private Dialogue
  • Access to a catalogue of the major federal government programs that directly or indirectly support U.S. sustainable manufacturers and related practices
  • Information on SMI projects like SMART and the development of metrics for sustainable manufacturing
  • Free signup for SMI email updates

What is Sustainable Manufacturing and why is the U.S. Department of Commerce involved?
For purposes of this initiative, sustainable manufacturing is defined as the creation of manufactured products that use processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy and natural resources, and are economically sound and safe for employees, communities, and consumers.

As companies look for new ways to make more efficient use of resources, ensure compliance with domestic and international regulations related to environment and health, and enhance the marketability of their products and services, one area that has grown in importance to U.S. businesses is the implementation of sustainable manufacturing practices. While the trend towards sustainable manufacturing practices grows, so do its implications for U.S. global competitiveness and firm profitability.

One of the main goals at the U.S. Department of Commerce is to foster domestic and international conditions for doing business that allow U.S. firms to successfully compete and increase profitability. Evidence has shown that firms incorporating both environmentally and economically sustainable manufacturing processes can gain competitive advantages in that they reap inherent cost savings (i.e. improving their energy efficiency, minimizing raw materials usage, etc.). Many U.S. firms have demonstrated that being environmentally sustainable can also mean being profitable.

In order to ensure comprehensive implementation of this initiative and meet a critical need in ensuring communication between federal agencies engaged in this area, Commerce’s Manufacturing and Services unit has created an interagency working group on sustainable manufacturing – Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing Competitiveness (IWG-MC), Subgroup on Sustainable Manufacturing. For more information on the IWG-MC and other issues affecting the competitiveness of American manufacturers and service providers, please visit