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As industry looks to rebuild and grow after the lockdown, there is an opportunity for manufacturers to refocus on their sustainability goals and work with Government to deliver a green recovery. 

Research, undertaken in partnership with leading energy company E.ON prior to the lockdown indicates that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand: manufacturers who put sustainability at the heart of their businesses have seen real benefitsfrom doing so in the last 12 months with 40% reporting increased profit margins and 30% increased competitiveness as a result. 

Key Findings: 

  • Pre-COVID-19, 30% of manufacturers were investing in energy efficiency measures with 40% reporting an increase in profits as a result
  • 30% also said their competitiveness had increased as a direct result of making energy efficiencies
  • 90% of manufacturers are aware of the 2050 net-zero target and nearly half were already committed to following through with concrete actions
  • 40% of respondents have renegotiated their energy contracts in the last 12 months and 65% were able to get a better deal
  • Manufacturers call on Government to provide better fiscal incentives for companies to invest in new technology and energy efficiency measures to aid a green recovery from COVID-19  
These results show that manufacturers are committed to playing their part in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy. As businesses recover and learn from the COVID-19 crisis, they have the opportunity to ensure improved sustainability is factored into their resilience plans. As well as taking steps to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions, they are developing the innovative new products and services we all need to decarbonise.  With the right policy and regulatory environment manufacturers could move even more quickly to unlock the benefits of green growth, and we look forward to working in partnership with Government, regulators and the energy industry to make that happen as part of the future new norm.
Stephen Phipson CEO, Make UK
While the response to COVID-19 rightly remains the priority for most manufacturers in the short term, the UK’s net-zero target remains the key challenge for our future. It is heartening to see from this research that awareness of net-zero is high and that manufacturers are investing in energy efficiency and seeing the commercial benefits. Both Government and the energy industry must work to remove barriers to further investment as reported by manufacturers, notably cashflow and profit margin impacts, as well as payback periods on investments. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that collaboration and cooperation across government, industry and society can transform how our economy operates and we must now work together to deliver a green recovery which continues the transition to a low-carbon economy but also makes economic sense.
Michael Lewis CEO, E.ON

Available resources

Industry report / Net Zero