British manufacturers are pursuing Net Zero, as the sector is making a huge leap forward from just 18 months ago, when very few companies had a specific Net Zero strategy. The positive effects of COP26 and the increased practical assistance in implementing positive green strategies in the workplace have contributed to the turbo industry in the race to zero.
According to a new survey published today by Make UK, the makers’ organization, almost two thirds (65%) of makers have taken positive action to achieve their Net Zero target in the last 12 months, while 35% of companies already have a fully formed Net Zero strategy and we started to implement it. The study – ‘COP26 6 months later – shows that another 14% have set their Net Zero strategy but have not fully implemented it, and over a third of companies say that achieving Net Zero is a high priority for their business.
These figures are even more impressive against the background of unprecedented challenges for manufacturers, who had to navigate changes in trade rules after the UK’s full exit from the EU, along with a global pandemic in which order books fell, sales collapsed and supply chains temporarily destroyed. Yet, despite these challenges and continuing inflationary pressures, manufacturers have realized the critical importance of Net Zero and the benefits that the green economy can bring to their business, and have made progress accordingly.
A regional breakdown shows that the further north you go, the higher Net Zero is on the company’s list of priorities. Almost half (48%) of companies in the North say that achieving Net Zero is a high priority for their business at the moment, compared to 28% and 25% in the Midlands and South respectively. Tackling their internal factory emissions is the number one focus, with 77% of energy efficiency companies, followed by almost half (48%), wanting to optimize their production processes. Another 32% want to increase the efficiency of their resources by using or losing less resources.
This can be as simple as moving production lines closer to the exit, so forklifts move only a short distance to load the final products, to introduce sophisticated energy-saving sensors throughout the production line and full-scale electrification. of processes. About 32% of companies have started using renewable energy production on site, and another one in ten manufacturers now wants to improve their buildings for space heating and cooling.
Recruitment and inclusion in the green agenda also proved key in the report, with a quarter of companies already training their staff on sustainability to make sure they have the right skills for the transition to net zero. Lack of skills was cited as an obstacle to change, with about 40% of companies saying they do not have the appropriate skills in their business to implement change.
Outside the factory, it is encouraging to see that almost three quarters of manufacturers are already committed to their supply chain to deal with their emissions (emissions of band 3). These “indirect” value chain emissions account for the majority of the company’s emissions, but they are not directly controlled by the business and are therefore more difficult to manage.
This is done mainly by communicating their own zero ambitions in their own supply chains (53% of companies have taken this route), while another quarter (33%) are working to reduce their logistical travel and transport emissions from vehicles. third parties.
Nearly two thirds (62%) of manufacturing companies are forced to take further action on net zero due to rising energy costs, while another two thirds (63%) are forced by their customers or their employees (31%) to increase their green credentials. Although overall awareness of government-led initiatives is low, there has been good participation around COP26 (eg Race to Zero and SME Climate Hub), with a quarter of companies saying they have helped speed up the process.
About 38% of companies see a competitive advantage through the introduction of innovative products or services and the presence of a positive Net Zero strategy as a key attraction for recruiting new talent in business (35%).
A quarter of producers also mention commercial opportunities, such as being approved as an approved provider for public / private procurement schemes (24%), access to new, higher value green markets (24%) and access to financing for new projects (25%) as a guide to accelerate their decarbonisation.
Stephen Fipson, CEO of Make UK, told the manufacturers’ organization:
“British manufacturers have long shown that they are at the forefront of global innovation and have come a long way in improving their processes in their quest to reach Net Zero. They are making huge leaps forward and have taken many initiatives such as COP26 as an engine for further change. With historically high energy costs, reducing energy consumption has acquired another layer of urgency, and new business opportunities from the green economy make change even more attractive. We will continue to work together to come up with solutions that work for manufacturers and allow them to move forward to Net Zero with even greater speed. “
The report also reveals that 43% of companies find the digital transformation an important factor in the transformation to Net Zero. And 37% have already implemented at least one digital project related to sustainability, while another 35% had a digital project in preparation for the next 12 months.
Read the full report here:
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