Green Manufacturing: Why Does UK Industry Need to Take Notice?Made News
On Tuesday 25th August our Virtual Roundtable discussed the green manufacturing agenda and casted their eyes to the fact that Climate Change is now indisputable as a challenge to our planet as well as the way we will do business within it (unless your name is Donald Trump?).
The impact on our planet’s invaluable but finite resources creates one of the most pressing paradoxes of our time: how do we achieve industrial growth whilst also being considerate of the environmental impact of production?
The UK simply must find the right balance. In a recent United Nations report, it is warned that CO2 emissions must be cut nearly in half by 2030 to protect the planet from additional threats of climate change.
It appears that now is the time for change - but what role will “Green Manufacturing” play in this? Our roundtable discussed the changing business style and manufacturing practices, as well as the role of agents and stakeholders and governments, to reduce the industrial impact on climate change and the environment in which we live.
Our attendees were quick to point out that Green Manufacturing is a subject that is emerging and constantly evoking, much like the recent discussion on Smart Factories. So, as this subject grows, will the sector be led by legislation or the consumer?
It was suggested that the sector is not only very consumer led in terms of investment, but very much shareholder led, as they will hold the power to say if companies need to be focusing on green operations in the first place. However, shareholders ultimately need to see the company thriving as well, clearly company’s can’t just be green with no growth from an investment point of view.
Although, perhaps greater education and communication is required to these shareholders, as financial growth and environmentally conscious business operations are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the more efficient a company is, particularly in terms of minimising waste, the more financially sound they will be in the long run. Ultimately, “green manufacturing” and “smart manufacturing” are synonymous in many ways; a link which should perhaps be pushed more persistently by UK industry leaders.
In terms of recommendations to manufacturers going forward, it was suggested by one of our attendees that companies need to start their journey in green manufacturing as soon as possible. This will give you an opportunity to understand your carbon footprint and begin seeking advice from reputable and knowledgeable experts in the industry.
As mentioned above, there is both an economic and moral reason for all companies to invest in this efficient way of working. If they don’t already, the average consumer in 5-10 years will demand that products and services come from a carbon neutral supplier. Ultimately, therefore, we must consistently bang the drum of Green Manufacturing, in hope that companies do not continue to push it to the bottom of the pile - as is of course so tempting to do in 2020 - before it’s too late for both their brand and the planet at large.