Details on how to make the transition are published today in The New Industrial Model, which details how manufacturers across the continent can reach 168,000 new skilled and mostly local jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Produced by sustainability advisor Lavery/Pennell, it also argues that by improving non-labour resource efficiency, investing in sustainable inputs and commercialising competitive advantages, manufacturers in Europe could achieve 9% profit growth.
UK manufacturers could also be set to benefit from the model, which is estimated to be worth €8.4bn in annual profits, 10,000 new UK-based jobs and a 16.9 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Interface, the world’s largest tile manufacturer which announced last month it had hit 90% sustainability at its Dutch facility, also confirmed at the press briefing in London that it had achieved annual savings of €7.6m as a result of following the model.
Other companies analysed in the report include food manufacturer Nestlé and Unilever, and acting CEO of Interface Europe Rob Boogaard said he would challenge all European manufacturers to adopt the model.
“Over the past 20 years Interface has transformed its business model, moving away from the traditional take-make-waste manufacturing paradigm towards a more cyclical, restorative way of doing business,” he said.
“Sustainability has inspired some of our most innovative, best-selling products, it has enhanced our company’s reputation, galvanised our people around a common goal and, crucially, it has boosted our bottom-line.”
Greg Lavery, chief executive of Lavery/Pennell, said that European manufacturers need to deviate from cutting headcount and exploiting natural resource reserves when facing financial, environmental and social challenges.
“The New Industrial Model presents an opportunity for companies willing to take a fresh approach,” he said.
“By reducing the use of raw materials with the highest price, greatest supply risks and biggest environmental footprint, European manufacturers can meet increasing demands to reduce their environmental impact while creating jobs and delivering profits.”