A new survey shows there is a still an alarming lack of readiness among UK manufacturers in the national push to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
A forthcoming report by Manufacturing Management and utilities consultancy Inenco – to be published in full in November – found that 38 per cent of UK manufacturers have no clear target for achieving net zero, and a further 11 per cent were unsure.
The UK has a legal obligation to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which will require wholesale changes to almost every industry. The impact on manufacturing in particular will be significant, with the sector currently responsible for 12 per cent of UK emissions alone.
Although awareness of net zero has grown rapidly over the past two years and most manufacturers now agree it is a priority, the latest findings suggest companies are still struggling to get started on the journey to decarbonise their business.
Specifically, understanding the complexities of carbon footprinting is an important issue for manufacturers, especially when it comes to accounting for the emissions associated with raw materials and the supply chain.
In Greater Manchester, manufacturing SMEs have been provided expert support to not only understand their footprint but actively take steps to reduce it, thanks to the combined knowledge of GC Business Growth Hub’s Manufacturing Service and Sustainability & Net Zero Team.
A wide range of manufacturers such as joinery business Bridgewater Laminates, dies and tools supplier Arden Dies and steel fabricator Thomas Storey have benefitted from specialist advice from both teams in recent years, while employees at many more – including flooring manufacturer QPSL and textiles supplier Thomas Kneale – have gained a Level 3 certification through GC’s Low Carbon Skills: Journey to Net Zero training course.
Manufacturing excellence and sustainability often go hand-in-hand, former Manufacturing Advisor Nick Brandwood explained earlier in 2023:
“The leanest businesses are waste-reducing, efficiency-finding, problem-solving machines. They don’t waste time or materials making something the customer doesn’t want. They don’t repeat production runs because of re-work. They don’t waste heating or lighting because people are waiting around for a process to begin. Lean fits right in with a green, sustainable mindset.”
Last year Nick shared his tips for businesses on achieving green goals.
GC Business Growth Hub was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2021, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. Eligibility criteria was applied. The 2014-2021 ERDF fund was allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation.
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government was the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which was one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, visit European Regional Development Fund: Documents and Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
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