‘Greenshoring’ the key to sustainable manufacturing
17 March 2023
The growing urgency of shifting to a low carbon economy means more and more manufacturers are seeking to develop greener, localised supply chains, according to a national manufacturing initiative.
For decades, manufacturing goods in less-developed countries, as cheaply as possible, has been a common business practice. This offshoring of production has helped to make goods more affordable and accessible, but it also carries a far greater environmental impact due to long-distance transport and less efficient factory processes.
‘Greenshoring’ is a recently-coined trend that involves shifting the focus from low cost overseas production to sustainable manufacturing closer to home.
According to the UK’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, as more companies make commitments to achieve net zero, greenshoring will become a key part of the manufacturing sector’s sustainable transformation and help to address security of supply.
Prof Sam Turner, HVM Catapult’s Net Zero Champion, explained:
“Greenshoring isn’t reshoring, it isn’t bringing back that which was once made in the UK. This is about being globally competitive based on having a demonstrably low carbon, sustainable manufacturing footprint, alongside other competitiveness measures such as high levels of productivity, innovation and growth.”
“The work must start now so that when markets do begin to look for that low carbon manufacturing supply base, the UK is the place to go.”
Successfully capitalising on this opportunity relies on manufacturers understanding and following a common approach to carbon footprinting, something that many manufacturers struggle with.
Manufacturers that are new to the concept are encouraged to join the next cohort of our fully funded Low Carbon Skills: Journey to Net Zero programme – a seven-part course that covers how to conduct a full carbon footprint assessment, as well as how to improve operations, build competitive advantage and implement a net zero strategy.
Offering his advice to manufacturers, Prof Turner said:
“There is a great deal of support out there, which the HVM Catapult or others can provide or signpost, to help you measure and reduce your [direct] Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Put Scope 3 [indirect emissions] higher up your business agenda and find the time to understand where you sit and start drawing up an action plan.
“If you can show that you’re decarbonising ahead of the market and competition, that’s going to be a huge competitive advantage to your business.”
Oldham-based Quantum Profile Systems Ltd (QPSL) is one of many manufacturers our advisors have supported on their journey to net zero. Read their story here.