Sustainable manufacturing could boost UK GDP by £20bn and create 1 million jobs

Posted on 29 Jul 2020 by Jonny Williamson

Leading the world in ‘green manufacturing’ could see the UK add between £8bn - £20bn to its economy and create an additional 400,000 to 1 million jobs.

Climate change is having a huge impact on the world we live in and the calls to tackle it are growing louder every day.

The UK is well placed to lead the way in this green future, if we act now, according to a new report, published by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

Since 1990, the UK has reduced carbon emissions by an estimated 44% and is the first country to commit to net zero emissions.

The Commission on Climate Change, which underpinned the net-zero target, estimated that an increase in investment in green technologies in the order of 1% – 2% of GDP a year up to 2050 was needed.

Supply Chain Analytics - image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Green growth is an important economic driver – growing around four-times faster than the overall economy. Starting early gives companies the best chance of staying ahead and diversifying into future products and markets.

Green transition involves decarbonising processes and products all along the supply chain, as well as reducing the carbon that products require in use.

Transformation that is investment-led both boosts GDP directly and adds to productive capacity.

The effect on GDP stands to be significant, adding some £8bn – £20bn in output to UK manufacturing and its supply chains. The effect on jobs could also be substantial:

  • Creating 400,000 – 1 million jobs in the economy as a whole
  • 37,000 – 90,000 jobs in UK manufacturing
  • A further 34,000 – 83,000 jobs in the supply chain.

Moreover, the report shows that new jobs stand to be of high-quality, well paid, and fit for the future.

CEO of the MTA, James Selka  commented: “Going green is not an option, it is a necessity. The UK has a worldwide reputation for innovation within manufacturing and engineering. This report highlights the need to invest to make to the essential transition to a decarbonised economy.”

He continued: “We have seen through the Covid-19 pandemic that when government engages with manufacturers that change can be implemented quickly.

With strong national guidance and the right structure put in place by the UK government and fully integrated into an Industrial Strategy, we are well placed to become world leaders in green manufacturing.

“We need continued investment in resources like the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to spur progress. The possibilities for growth are substantial. UK manufacturers are ready for this challenge”

*All images courtesy of Depositphotos