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Britain’s manufacturers are leading the charge towards net zero and decarbonising their businesses as the sector moves to slash greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy use and switch to renewable and sustainable energy sources.

Manufacturers have moved the decarbonisation of their businesses up the priority ladder despite unprecedented economic challenges, with eight in ten companies saying it is now of high or medium importance. Make UK’s research, in partnership with Siemens, Decarbonising Manufacturing – Challenges and Opportunities shows that companies are accelerating efforts to decarbonise due to rising energy costs, the need to do the right thing and the rising cost of raw materials.

Nearly half (46%) of manufacturing companies are already implementing their decarbonisation plans while a further quarter will start decarbonising within the next 12 months. An additional 17% aim to begin the process in the next 24 months.

Britain’s manufacturers have long shown that they are at the forefront of innovation globally and they have already gone a long way to improve their processes and production in the quest to reach net zero.

To turbo-charge investment in decarbonisation projects Government should introduce full expensing on green technologies and expand the R&D tax credit to include industrial decarbonisation. The Help to Grow programme should be expanded to Help to Grow Green, which would support businesses in their decarbonisation journey and supercharge green investment. Companies should also be incentivised to invest in on-site energy generation, where surplus can be added back to the national grid to improve the UK’s energy security.

Stephen Phipson CBE Chief Executive, Make UK

It is heartening to see increased awareness and action from manufacturers with regards to sustainability. This is an industry-wide challenge that isn’t going anywhere, and transformation needs to accelerate at pace if we are to meet national carbon targets. Technology adoption, supportive government policy and ambitious decision making will help create a resilient and productive sector that is ready for the future.

Brian Holliday Managing Director, Siemens Digital Industries

Available resources

Make UK / Industry report / Net Zero