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Britain’s manufacturers are stepping up their ESG commitments as the topic rises rapidly on the boardroom agenda in response to the growing labour market, government, investor and customer pressure. 

The number of firms setting ESG targets for their business has increased by 48%, with around two thirds (62%) of manufacturers now doing so since 2021, according to a new report launched today by Make UK and Lloyds Bank – ESG in Manufacturing: Growth, Supply Chain Cooperation and the Future of Sustainability in the Industry.  

The report, which looked at the progress, opportunities and challenges faced by UK manufacturers looking to improve their ESG strategies, also finds that more than three quarters (77%) of firms are receiving ESG requests from their customers, but less than half say they have the resources required to meet them, highlighting a need for greater support. 

Companies are also accelerating their ESG requirements of their suppliers, with nearly three quarters (74%) of them building ESG conditions into their procurement strategies, up from just two thirds (66%) two years ago. Yet, despite this, four in ten (45%) are not aware of their suppliers’ performance against their targets. 

The findings come as ESG transition plan disclosures, which include how firms identify, assess, and manage environmental and social related risks and opportunities, are set to become mandatory for many UK companies later this year.


Manufacturers are raising their ambitions and commitments to ESG as the issue moves beyond solely environmental issues. Customers, suppliers, investors, and employees are now increasingly expecting that companies make the issue as core to their strategy as any other business objective.

It is now clear that ESG is becoming more than a ‘nice to have’ and rapidly rising up the boardroom agenda. As a result, those companies getting ahead of the game will clearly have a competitive advantage and those who have yet to take action risk being shut out of supply chains.
Faye Skelton Head of Policy at Make UK

Mandatory and standardised ESG disclosures are crucial to support the flow of capital to firms that have a positive environmental and social impact on the world around them. However, it is critical to solve for the barriers and unintended consequences that these requirements cause for firms and those in their supply chain. 

Lloyds is committed to supporting SMEs, as an important part of the UK economy, in their transition to net zero.
Huw Howells Head of Infrastructure, Energy and Industrials at Lloyds Bank

Available resources

Make UK / Environmental compliance / Environmental sustainability / Industry report