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BEIS & CAFA Net Zero in Manufacturing

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Net Zero in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry as a whole is worth a staggering £191 billion and the UK is currently the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world, with a total value of product sales at £358.7 billion in 2020 (source ONS)

Impact on the Environment

It’s no secret the manufacturing industry has had a detrimental effect on the environment.

The latest data shows the UK manufacturing industry produced 81.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and is a major cause of air pollution which harms both human health and the environment by contributing to the greenhouse effect.

Plus, the industry negatively impacts the environment through toxic waste disposal and water contamination.

CAFA BEIS Net Zero in Manufacturing Event

Last week HMG Department of Business Energy joined CAFA in a conversation as part of SME Hub sector guidance week.

CEO’s Jack Semple EAMA and James Selka from MTA joined the conversation to provide perspective of what challenges their members are tackling and the complexities facing their member organisations.

‘BEIS are doing a great job in motivating and mobilizing business, but more needs to be done to support a whole industry transition’ James Selka CEO of the MTA said. ‘There is enormous opportunity and our members play an essential role in this race. We need to prioritise global standards, aligned policy, tighter compliance of purchasing and supply, a focus on energy efficiency and real solution on how we are going to pay for this transition’.

So what needs to change for manufacturing organisations to accelerate to zero?

The Sixth Carbon budget will require a reduction in UK emissions by 78% by 2035. This will need to take place for the UK to be decisively on the path to Net Zero by 2050.

There are several options for reducing emissions in the manufacturing sector, including:

Resource efficiency- Reducing the flow of materials through the economy and using products more efficiently (and for longer) can reduce manufacturing emissions, as part of a shift towards a more circular economy.

Material substitution -Material substitution can reduce manufacturing emissions by switching from high-embodied-carbon materials to low-embodied-carbon materials.

Energy efficiency - Using energy more efficiently reduces operating costs while cutting emissions. The energy efficiency measures that we include are ‘low-regret’ measures that often save significant fuel costs.

Fuel switching - Hydrogen, electricity and bioenergy can all be used to meet heat, motion (and electrical) demands, thus replacing the use of fossil fuels and reducing GHG emissions.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS)- CCS can be used to capture CO2 produced by larger industrial point-sources, and transport it to a CO2 storage site, thus reducing emissions to the atmosphere. The captured CO2 may alternatively be used in Carbon Capture and Use (CCU). CCS is particularly important in the manufacturing sector, as it can abate emissions that cannot be addressed simply by switching to low- or zero-carbon energy.

The manufacturing industry sector is already delivering substantial reductions in greenhouse emissions.

Finance and skills still remain the greatest barriers. Mainly, how are we going to pay for it?

‘Achieving the net zero target will be highly challenging and requires further and faster action. Associations in the manufacturing space have an enormous role to play in the energy transition. Its highly complex so association really need to lead from the front, provide the skills, and guidance to help businesses change. We need to collaborate better and learn from each other to mobilize change across the sector’. Commented Jack Semple, CEO EAMA

What’s next?

CAFA is working closely with BEIS to convene leading industry associations representing critical sectors in a series of discussions on climate action to accelerate climate action.

Visit the SME climate hub for further information about the work UK Gov are doing to support business.

Missed our Net Zero in Manufacturing Event with BEIS. Catch-up here.

Access BEIS Slides from the discussion below.

Small business campaign external_manufacture
Download PDF • 3.07MB

If you/your association would like to get involved in our industry specific events or have any questions Contact CAFA.

About BEIS

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is in charge of developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the Government's relationships with businesses, along with securing affordable and clean energy supplies to the country.

About MTA

The MTA is the UK’s trade association for companies show create and supply the technology that manufacturers use. Representing engineering-based manufacturing and supporting the advanced engineering sector through advocacy, media contact and networking.

Providing relevant and specific industry intelligence as well as access to the latest developments in research and technology.

About EAMA

EAMA is an alliance of ten trade associations at the heart of the UK machinery and component supply chain. The combined 2,000-plus membership of advanced engineering businesses is made up of both large companies and SMEs, and many are exporters.

About CAFA

Climate Action for Associations (CAFA) is a not-for-profit collective, convening professional and trade associations, institutes, societies, clubs and other independent bodies from all around the world to come together to accelerate climate action.

About b2b

b2b are membership experts and the secretariat behind CAFA. Find out more about b2b here.


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