Sustainability is the biggest driver for manufacturers upgrading factories


Improving sustainability is the biggest driver for more than a quarter (26%) of manufacturers to build a new factory or upgrade an existing facility, according to new research by Visual Components of UK decision makers at manufacturing organisations. 89% are also confident of helping the UK Government to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Looking at shorter-term sustainability goals, almost half (42%) of manufacturers identified the reduction of power usage as a top priority in the manufacturing process, with 45% prioritising the reduction of consumables.

Despite this intention of the industry to become more sustainable, the current reality tells a different story. Only 31% of materials used in the manufacturing process are sustainable, according to manufacturing professionals, with only 32% of manufacturing processes powered by renewable energy

Steve Morris, Country Manager UK & I at Visual Components said, “Our study reveals a disparity between the organisations that wish to enhance their sustainability credentials and where they currently are in terms of sustainable materials use.”

Nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents acknowledged that remaining compliant with regulations was a big driver to building a new site or upgrading an existing one, with the need to meet directives such as the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and the right to repair law that covers household appliances in the UK.

Morris added: “Looking ahead, it’s pleasing to see that 28% are very confident of hitting the 2050 net zero carbon emissions target, with 61% also feeling fairly confident. In preparation for this, factory redesign and rebuild will be key and this is where simulation software can really make the difference in getting the most sustainable and cost effective designs.”