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40% of manufacturers still operating without sustainability policy

A new survey has revealed that the a significant portion of manufacturers are yet to put an underlying policy document in place for sustainability, but most are planning to do so in the next 12 months.

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A poll conducted by Subcon - the UK’s leading subcontract manufacturing supply chain show which ran from 14-16 September - found that only four in ten UK manufacturers currently have a sustainability policy in place, despite the UK hosting the historic COP26 climate change summit in less than two months’ time.

The findings come shortly after an open letter from government calling on manufacturers to take measures to tackle climate change and pledge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Gordon Kirk, Event Director of Subcon, commented:

“Manufacturing is the most energy intensive industry in the UK and, with COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November, there’s no escaping the importance of accepting the impact of climate change. We need to start adopting and taking responsibility for sustainable practices right across the sector to create a genuinely circular economy.”

According to the Subcon poll, most manufacturers do plan to make significant progress within the next 12 months, with 95 per cent of those polled saying they will have a sustainability policy document in place by summer 2022.

When quizzed on what sustainability actions they have taken so far, 67 per cent said they reuse or recycle materials and 58 per cent had taken measures to reduce their energy consumption. Nearly a third (31 per cent) also said they source locally to reduce freight miles.

However, while recognising the importance of sustainability, many manufacturers are falling short when it comes to better understanding their own impact and carbon footprint.

SME manufacturers in Greater Manchester can get step-by-step support to understand their impact and develop a strategy to cut emissions and capitalise on the opportunities of a cleaner future through the Hub’s online Journey to Net Zero workshop programme.

Apply for Journey to Net Zero

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