New research from manufacturing organisation Make UK shows that 30 per cent of manufacturers were investing in energy efficiency and sustainability measures before the COVID-19 outbreak.
A comprehensive survey of UK manufacturers, conducted just before the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with energy company E.ON, found that 90 per cent of companies are now aware of the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon target and almost half of the SMEs polled (47 per cent) see it as an opportunity for their business.
Firms seeing the benefit
Nearly a third of manufacturers had invested in energy efficiency measures in the 12 months leading up to the COVID-19 crisis, with 40 per cent reporting a direct increase in profit margin as a result. A further 30 per cent also said their competitiveness had increased.
The most popular measures planned or already introduced are digital monitoring of energy use (71 per cent), installing energy efficient equipment (71 per cent), behavioural change activities (65 per cent) and renegotiating energy supplier contracts (63 per cent). Around one in ten companies are considering generating their own on-site renewable energy.
Senior management driving progress
The main driver for implementing energy efficiency measures was cost reduction, but other drivers such as improving company ethos and direction from the board were consistently reported across the spectrum, regardless of company size.
The vast majority (80 per cent) of board directors and senior management are now engaged in energy efficiency, up from 50 per cent a year ago.
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, said: “These results show that manufacturers are committed to playing their part in the transition to a net zero carbon economy. As businesses recover and learn from the COVID-19 crisis, they have the opportunity to ensure improved sustainability is factored into their resilience plans. As well as taking steps to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions, they are developing the innovative new products and services we all need to decarbonise.
“With the right policy and regulatory environment manufacturers could move even more quickly to unlock the benefits of green growth, and we look forward to working in partnership with government, regulators and the energy industry to make that happen as part of the future new norm.”
Posted under General Interest, Carbon Reduction, Energy Efficiency, Aerospace, Automotive, Chemicals, Food and Drink, Textiles and Other Manufacturing on 27 May 2020