Manufacturing’s Drive Towards Decarbonisation


Some news from the manufacturing sector: it is leading the UK decarbonisation agenda. Like many, I hope this contributes a chain reaction of other sectors transitioning to more renewable and sustainable energy sources – reducing overall emissions and usage through investment and increased efficiency. However, as has been seen throughout the net zero conversation, this is not always the case, so let’s jump in.  

Research by Made UK and Siemens suggests that manufacturers are increasing the priority of decarbonising their businesses. Up to 80% of companies surveyed stated that decarbonisation had moved to be of either high or medium importance and, while nearly half of companies surveyed are currently implementing plans, the remainder plan to begin the process within the next 12-24 months. 

So what is the key to these plans might you ask? Investment in green opportunities and projects, adoption and integration of more energy efficient business practices and processes, grid decarbonisation through both public and private sector involvement and suitable incentive schemes for businesses to support it all. 

In the article, Made UK CEO, Stephen Phipson went on to say: 

“To turbo-charge investment in decarbonisation projects Government should introduce full expensing on green technologies and expand the R&D tax credit to include industrial decarbonisation”. 

This would offer support to both the 47% of manufacturers who have already adjusted business practices to cut energy consumption and all those who are yet to do so.

Furthermore, at a time when energy prices are at their highest levels for decades with no signs of dropping in the short term, businesses are already noticing the cost savings and increased productivity attributed to process streamlining.  

Outside the obvious, other avenues such as onsite renewable energy or heat also attributed to the cost savings, but barriers such as equipment replacement cost and transport and logistics issues remain.

However, despite everything discussed the ambitious view of the future will struggle to come to fruition without proper regulation, guidance and eventually enforcement – three things that continue to move at a snail’s pace while the time for action passes by right in front of our eyes. But hey, don’t take my word for it, I’m just the one that will have to live with the consequences of whatever action industry leaders take.   

Britain’s manufacturers are leading the charge towards net zero and decarbonising their businesses as the sector moves to slash greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy use and switch to renewable and sustainable energy sources

By Joe Graham on 26/07/2022