Carbon Trust aims for low carbon industrial revolution

Posted on 3 Nov 2009 by The Manufacturer

A new energy saving programme from the Carbon Trust is expected to reduce costs for businesses by more than £500m.

Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) is a £15m innovation scheme designed to cut carbon, reduce costs and make UK manufacturing more competitive.

Industry leaders have backed the initiative as which expects to slash three million tonnes of carbon emissions. Britvic, Highland Spring and Tarmac are among the first companies to work with the Carbon Trust in its IEEA. They were joined last week by trade bodies including the Food and Drink Federation and Dairy UK, and leading players in the dairy, bakery and confectionery industries. Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco is also backing the programme.

Through the IEEA, the Carbon Trust aims to transform the traditional sector-specific processes that underpin British manufacturing. In partnership with industry leaders, the organisation will identify and demonstrate new, lower-carbon solutions that can be replicated widely across each sector. It is hoped that the programme will also increase the capacity of businesses to respond effectively to the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme which comes into effect in April 2010.

“More than a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions come from industry and we’ve got to find new opportunities to reduce them,” says Dr Mark Williamson, Carbon Trust Director of Innovations. “The way to make truly substantial cuts is to get to the very heart of manufacturing. By rethinking the way manufacturers operate from the ground up we plan to spearhead a low carbon industrial revolution that will not only reduce emissions but will also increase demand for innovation, generate jobs and cut costs.”

Manufacturers of plastic bottles, animal feed and asphalt recently partnered with the Carbon Trust in the pilot phase of the IEEA. Through detailed analysis of their energy consumption they identified potential to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions by an average of 28%. It is expected that trade bodies and businesses from around 25 different sectors will participate in the IEEA over a four year period.

The Carbon Trust is now inviting companies in those industries to collaborate in research, development and demonstration that will establish the business case for commercialising lower-carbon manufacturing processes. It is offering £250,000 match funding to partners in each sector.

The Food & Drink Federation and its members are set to explore opportunities for improved recycling of heat from industrial ovens and more energy efficient methods of producing confectionery.

“The food and drink manufacturing industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the country and reducing our environmental impact is a key objective of our members,” says Stephen Reeson, Head of Climate Change and Energy Policy at The Food & Drink Federation. “The Carbon Trust’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator programme is a welcome additional support initiative in tackling sector specific energy issues. Working with our members and the Carbon Trust we look forward to improving the industry’s energy efficiency.”