If manufacturers could decrease the amount of product sitting idly in inventory -- about $2 trillion worth of goods in the U.S. -- a significant amount of energy and material would be freed up, environmental expert Andrew Winston writes. The best way to achieve this is through demand planning; Procter & Gamble, for example, was able to use demand-sensing software to decrease its inventory by 17 days and $2.1 billion, Winston writes.

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