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Companies struggling to get to ‘net zero’

  • by JW

“It’s clear that many firms see the benefits of achieving net zero, but there are a number of challenges that could be preventing their progression.” [Nick Golding, managing director at South West Manufacturing Advisory Service]


Companies in the South West are really struggling: 

In a recent quarterly poll, consultancy and training network the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS) found that SME manufacturers have had to add the equivalent of almost two full-timers to their staff rosters, specifically to manage the effects of supply and resourcing changes and to ensure business continuity. In addition, says SWMAS Managing Director Nick Golding: “Businesses are having to invest in greater levels of inventory, which uses funds that could potentially be used for greater returns in other areas to protect the delivery performance to customers.” Supply chain challenges: where are we now? | ICAEW

There is not manufacturing going on in the Sid Valley, but there will no doubt be ‘supply an resourcing’ issues for companies generally in the area.

In the meantime and in addition, companies in the South West are also being urged to go ‘net zero’ – but the problem is it’s proving very difficult for them to do this, as a study just out from the SWMAS shows:

Half of the 159 SMEs across the country surveyed by the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS) said they saw efforts to cut carbon emissions as a positive expansion for UK manufacturing. However, only 42% of respondents said they were confident it would actually be beneficial for their individual business.

Somerset-based SWMAS said almost three quarters of the firms it had spoken to had said they were already working towards net zero (73%), but only 2% knew the carbon footprint for the products they supply, while just 3% had a detailed carbon footprint ready for their organisation. Only 37% of the businesses who took part had pledged to achieve net zero, but three quarters of these firms said they were aiming to reach this at least 10 years before the government’s 2050 target.

Nick Golding, managing director at SWMAS, said: “Profitability remains a challenge for most firms, particularly with the current energy crisis which is showing no signs of waning. It is understandable that for most, implementing the new net zero standard isn’t a priority with other challenges being faced, particularly when planning and implementing a scheme to neutralise their carbon footprint will cost additional time, resources and money.”

Almost half (48%) of the companies did tell researchers they thought promoting any net zero ambitions would help them win future work. Furthermore, a quarter said they believed it would attract more skilled workers.

Mr Golding said the last of these findings indicated “some optimism” from manufacturers, despite ongoing challenges around price increases, supply chain disruption, and skills shortages. He added: “It’s clear that many firms see the benefits of achieving net zero, but there are a number of challenges that could be preventing their progression. There are lessons for policymakers to consider, particularly in relation to simplifying planning requirements for onsite energy systems such as solar and wind as well as incentives for these technologies to support the manufacturing transition towards a net zero future.”

75 per cent of UK manufacturers ‘not prioritising net zero’, report finds – Business Live

Although this Yeovil company is on target: Leonardo and SMEs on Destination Net Zero journey together – Aerospace Manufacturing

And there is practical help from the likes of the SWMAS to help make this happen:

This programme from SWMAS offers practical, easy to follow steps to help your business reach this goal! Better still, there are a limited number of funded spaces available for eligible SMEs based in the South West of England… Make it Net Zero | SWMAS