At last year’s Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit, held as part Digital Manufacturing Week in Liverpool, you would have been forgiven for thinking that the sole focus of the event was sustainability and the journey to net zero; such was its prominence in the presentations from the influential line-up of speakers.
The impact of the well-documented challenges thrown at the sector over the last 12-24 months, has meant that becoming more environmentally sustainable has steadily moved higher on the list of manufacturing’s business goals, as organisations have looked to enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs, waste and their carbon footprint.
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The pandemic has also seen manufacturers increase interaction with their customer base and greater refine client-facing parts of their organisations. In turn, customers themselves have become more environmentally aware and sustainability credentials are increasingly impacting purchasing decisions. Therefore, responsible practices and processes will have a positive impact on strengthening reputations and increasing public trust.
The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) has felt this dramatic shift like no other role within the manufacturing sector, and in this sustainability focused issue we talk to three such individuals about the changes they have seen, the challenges involved and what the future of the role looks like. As one interviewee put it: “The role now has a broader focus around business strategy – it’s no longer about making sure people put things in the right bin.” See page 14.
Further to our focus topic for this issue, our lead interview sees us speak to Deloitte’s Sustainability and Climate Change Partner, Mike Barber, who discusses the importance and impact of Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 represent the greatest challenge for most organisations as they are numerically often several times larger than the easier to measure and manage Scope 1 and 2 emissions, due to the significance of the carbon, both in the underlying supply chain but also the future use of the manufactured products. See page 6.
In what was a welcome return to in-person events, The Manufacturer team recently attended the National Manufacturing Summit in Coventry, with the theme for 2022 around the journey to net zero. You can get the inside track from our visit in Episode 5 of our recent Sustainability Podcast series, where we’ll specifically look back at a session from day one of the event on the transition from fossil fuels to renewables; a discussion that exposed some vastly opposing views when talk turned to nuclear.
As for this issue, Natascha Engel, Chief Executive of Policy Connect, a cross-party Parliamentary think tank, former Member of Parliament, and speaker at the summit, picks out her key takeaways from the two days on page 36. In other news entries are now open for The Manufacturer MX Awards 2022. Go to page 3 for more details.
Other content in the issue:
Once, twice, three times a winner
At Digital Manufacturing Week 2021, The Manufacturer hosted the annual TMMX Awards where Lander Group won not one, not two, but three different awards across the evening. In the article, Lanna Deamer catches up with Len Palmer, Managing Director of Lander Group, to find out more about the company and what it meant to win Manufacturer of the Year, Supply Chain Excellence and Operational Excellence awards. – see page 19 for more.
Ore that you want: a new perspective on the mining industry
Mining of many minerals essential to manufacturing is answering a pan-industry need for environmental accountability, including on emissions. Raw materials extraction is making great strides towards better, more sustainable production of resources so we can all tread lighter on the earth – as Professor Fidelis Suorineni, Nazarbayev University School of Mining and Geosciences, tells The Manufacturer. – see page 10 for more.
Megatrends affecting your business: how our resilient manufacturing sector is bouncing back
As Nick Wright, Director of Market Development, Digital Catapult, explains, manufacturing productivity beat the odds and began to creep back up in 2021, signalling some welcome calm after the storm. New research from Make UK signalled that 78% of manufacturers saw at least a moderate increase in productivity this year – while the West Midlands emerged as the frontrunner in the UK post-pandemic manufacturing boom.
However, to say that the pandemic and resulting challenges are now a thing of the past would be demonstrably false. Waning productivity brought about through COVID-19 induced shutdowns was just the start. – see page 24 for more.
Start me up: how manufacturers are turbo charging innovation
Recent research has shown that manufacturing leaders are keen to make start-up collaboration part of their business strategies. The Manufacturer’s Joe Bush reports.
A survey of 100 UK manufacturing leaders, conducted by Digital Catapult at the end of last year, showed that manufacturers are increasingly looking to partner with start-ups to stimulate innovation, with nearly three quarters of manufacturing leaders (73%) saying that collaborating with start-ups is part of their long-term business strategy. This will help to accelerate digital transformation objectives by tapping into skills and creativity that are perhaps not available in-house. – see page 26 for more.
Taking the lead: how Siemens Congleton met its sustainability goals eight years early
Sarah Black-Smith, Head of Factory Operations at Siemens, sat down with The Manufacturer’s Reporter, Lanna Deamer, to discuss her role and how it’s changing, how the company managed to meet its sustainability targets in double-quick time, and women in manufacturing initiatives: are they patronising or empowering?
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