Environment top concern for manufacturers

Posted on 8 Oct 2009 by The Manufacturer

The Manufacturer has released the ‘Low Carbon Report’, which reveals that the development of a low carbon economy is not only a key issue for manufacturers but can assist them to cut costs. Download the free report now.

The report shows that that the majority of low carbon initiatives introduced by manufacturers have generated cost savings. However, the report also highlights the majority of manufacturers are focusing on reducing the energy costs of their existing equipment, prior to incorporating renewable energy resources into their operations. The survey also suggests that some green initiatives require further development to become universally viable.

The report surveyed over 100 manufacturers from a wide range of industries and with varying energy budgets – from less than £100,000 per annum to over £1,000,000 – the results of which were analysed in depth by Professor Peter Hines from the Cardiff University Lean Enterprise Research Centre.

The majority of the manufacturing sector’s investments in low carbon initiatives have resulted in cost savings. 87% of manufacturers have experienced savings through the implementation of carbon emission reduction strategies. 75% of manufacturers have experienced savings through accurate monitoring of energy consumption. Of those that reduced waste and water consumption, more than 80% have experienced economic benefits.

Some of the other key findings of the report include that 72% of manufacturers replace equipment when it reaches the end of its life, despite the availability of funding to replace old equipment before it begins wasting energy. Also more than 30% of companies are still unsure about impending environmental legislation and feel that not enough guidance is readily available.

The report also includes a number of case studies and commentary from industry experts including Carbon Trust, British Gas Business and UKTI on how manufacturers can contribute to the low carbon economy. Importantly, the report also includes a detailed breakdown of the most important impending legislation and regulations and is designed to act as a guide for manufacturers unsure of how these changes will impact on their business.

Jeff Whittingham, Director of Business Solutions, British Gas Business, commented on the results of the report: “This report highlights that cost saving is the key motivator among manufacturers for implementing energy efficiency measures, particularly at this time. The Energy360 team at British Gas Business has worked with many organisations to develop an energy management strategy that is central to their core business, helping them reap the financial benefits and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. From our extensive experience working with manufacturing businesses we know that savings of 10% or more are highly achievable.”

Hugh Jones, Director, Solutions, the Carbon Trust commented on the results of the report. “It’s encouraging to see manufacturers looking to the low carbon economy as a way to cut unnecessary costs through energy efficiency. Whilst awareness of energy efficiency is on the rise, it’s also clear that many companies do not yet recognise that using old, inefficient equipment is a major energy burden on the bottom line. We’d urge all small and medium-sized manufacturers to take advantage of the interest-free loans available from the Carbon Trust to replace mission critical equipment with new, energy saving models, as a key way to reduce costs.”

The Manufactuer ‘Low Carbon Report’ is designed to act as a comprehensive resource on the topic of low carbon as it relates to manufacturers. The report covers in depth:
• Survey of UK manufacturers with analysis from the Cardiff University Lean Enterprise Research Centre
• Low carbon legislation/regulations
• Intellectual property as it relates to green technologies
• Low carbon case studies
• Input from industry experts

The report can be downloaded free from www.themanufacturer.com/uk/reports.html.