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Majority of UK manufacturers increasing net-zero efforts, survey reveals

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Over the last year, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of Britain’s manufacturers have taken action on delivering their net-zero target, according to a MakeUK survey.

Around 90 per cent of manufacturers are planning further action on net zero as activity ramps up, with 35 per cent of businesses already subscribing to a fully formed net-zero strategy.

A further 14 per cent have set their strategy but not yet set it in motion, the survey found, while 11 per cent do not have a net-zero strategy and have no plans to introduce one.

“Britain’s manufacturers have shown that they are at the forefront of global innovation and have already gone a long way to improve their processes and production in the quest to reach net zero,” MakeUK said in its report.

“It came as no surprise that progress is dependent on issues that we continually campaign upon. A lack of skills was cited as a barrier to change, with some 40 per cent of companies stating they did not have the relevant skills within their business to implement changes.”

With energy prices currently soaring in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, the government has said it will support high-energy usage businesses, such as steel and paper manufacturers, with their electricity costs to help them continue operating.

The survey found that 77 per cent of companies said cutting energy costs was their main net-zero focus within their factories, with nearly half (48 per cent) looking to make production processes more energy efficient.

Gaining competitive advantage through innovative products or services was also a major driver for 38 per cent of companies.

Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, said: “With energy costs at historic highs, cutting energy consumption has taken on a further layer of urgency and new business opportunities from the green economy make change even more attractive.”

MakeUK conducted another survey last month which found that nearly a third of UK manufacturers were unconvinced by the government’s levelling-up agenda and had seen no tangible benefits to their business from it.

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