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Britain’s manufacturers are powering forward in their digital journey towards Net Zero as the sector moves to reduce energy usage and costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost productivity, according to new research delivered in partnership with  Sage, the market leader for cloud business management solutions.

The research finds that manufacturing businesses are investing in digital technologies more than ever before and reaping multiple benefits – from productivity increases, product improvements, reduction in waste and labour efficiencies.

Nearly half of manufacturers have an active plan to invest in digital technologies to decarbonise their business – 23% have already invested in digital solutions and 24% are planning to invest. Some 62% of companies which have already adopted digital technologies into their production processes reported saving money on energy – half of these companies saved between £10,000 and £100,000 in the last 12 months. A further 47% saved under £10,000 but said these savings were still significant to their businesses.

The need to reduce carbon is now embedded in most companies’ business plans with a quarter of Britain’s manufacturers stating digitalisation has led to decarbonisation and strengthened their ability to achieve challenging Net Zero targets. 

Britain’s manufacturers have long been at the forefront of digital innovation globally and they have taken significant steps to cut carbon emissions and move towards Net Zero.

But in order to supercharge that journey, business needs Government to play its part in driving the process forward.

To that end, Government needs to help them move forward faster by committing to a national rollout of the industrial digitalisation programme Made Smarter across the UK and expand its remit to include industrial decarbonisation. Made Smarter has already delivered amazing successes in helping SMEs boost their productivity through digitalisation, and they are ideally placed to pick up the mantle to help decarbonise through digitalisation.

We need to see an expansion in the R&D tax relief to include capital equipment relating to industrial decarbonisation and the introduction of a Help to Grow Green tax credit to incentivise businesses to take those first active steps to produce goods more sustainably at a time companies are cash-strapped through the burden of higher labour and energy costs. 
Stephen Phipson CEO, Make UK

Available resources

Industry report / Make UK