24 May 2022

Manufacturing leaders call for support for drive towards net zero

net zero

Industry leaders have called for Government and industry to work together to help manufacturers respond to the drive for net zero.

Speaking at the second annual National Manufacturing Summit which focused on sustainable manufacturing, Manufacturing Technology Centre chief executive Dr Clive Hickman called for a specific funding pot for net zero manufacturing to ensure that UK industry is able to realise the innovation and economic opportunities that de-carbonisation offered.

Dr Hickman said the UK’s commitments at COP26 required a rapid, deep and sustained reduction in CO2 emissions: “ It will be us, as manufacturers, who make these ambitions a reality. We need a Manufacturing Strategy to ensure the sector is future-proofed for the decade to come. A funding pot for net zero manufacturing would give manufacturers the confidence to pilot innovative green technologies and support the commercialisation of these technologies.”

He added that expanding the UK’s sector deals to include nascent industries such as hydrogen would create opportunities to boost productivity, employment, innovation and skills as well as attracting investment  through greater certainty and clarity.

Addressing the summit, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that green technology is expanding in the UK and that could give the country first-mover advantage, making UK manufacturing more competitive and resilient.

Katherine Bennett, chief executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which the MTC is part of, also explained that the scale of the task of limiting the most damaging effects of climate change was considerable: “The nation’s manufacturers have an absolutely vital role to play in the need to deliver low-carbon living and an affordable low-carbon economy. It’s a huge opportunity and those who seize the net zero agenda will succeed. Support is there to help businesses make the changes needed to drive down carbon emissions.”