ABB launches Real Progress campaign to accelerate global sustainability

ABB has launched its new global sustainability initiative, showcasing the power of technology and expertise to accelerate sustainability while enhancing productivity. ABB’s Real Progress campaign is a rallying call to customers, partners and suppliers, inspiring them to harness technology leadership and the solutions that exist today to amplify their own impact across process industries such as mining, metals, and pulp and paper.

For more than 130 years, the technology leader has been embedded in industries where emissions are hard to abate and where alternative solutions are either unavailable or difficult to practically implement. Today, ABB is combatting many changes happening in the world, such as rising emissions, water and energy scarcity, and workforce skills challenges. The company is showing that the power of bold ideas and pioneering technologies can overcome these challenges, step by step, together with the wider industrial and societal ecosystem.

The decarbonization challenge unites the mining, pulp, paper and metals industries with leadership teams striving to meet increasing market demand with a more rapid increase in energy and resource efficiency to reach their committed sustainability targets such as more carbon-neutral operations. Across these vital process industries, there is a growing recognition that automation, electrification and digitalization are essential components of their journey towards meeting climate targets set out by businesses, legislation, governments and international agreements over the next 25 years and beyond.

“The journey toward sustainability isn’t a gradual progression; it’s a bold transformation. The actions and decisions we take today, together with every innovation we embrace, are powerful steps towards a sustainable future, and we’re unapologetically leading the charge,” said Joachim Braun, Division President, ABB Process Industries. “Every day, ABB is working side by side with customers in their mines, their mills and their plants, to provide complete technology solutions with automation, electrification and digitalization to radically reduce emissions and energy use. Together with our great network of partners, we are proud of driving real progress in sustainability, but we know that more can and must be done. We’re part of the journey and commit to making real progress always.”

In the mining industry, Real Progress means helping customers through their energy transition, with electrification combined with world-class technologies for hoisting and grinding. The ABB eMine™ solution is one example, empowering them to convert fossil fuel reliant mines to all-electric. By automating all electrification solutions, customers can now monitor, control, and then reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in real time.

ABB is also supporting customers in the transformation of the pulp and paper industry, helping to reduce waste and accelerate towards circularity. Solutions include the ABB Quality Control System (QCS), deployed to provide paper makers with visibility into the sheet as it is formed to reduce waste and improve runnability. Automation combined with advanced process control (APC) can support consistent operations, improved production, energy savings and reduced costs. Meanwhile, modern drives and motors ensure reliable operations, energy efficiency and process performance.

In the metals industries, ABB is committed to enabling customers to use less energy and raw materials when producing steel and aluminum through advanced automation and electrification systems, combined with industry-specific equipment and digitalization, across plants. While the digital solution ABB Ability™ Smart Melt Shop helps bring autonomous plants to life by connecting and automating crane and ladle movement to reduce thermal losses, ABB ArcSave® electromagnetic stirrer (EMS) makes electric arc furnace (EAF) operations more productive and resource efficient. For the entire metals enterprise, ABB Ability™ Energy Management System monitors and optimizes energy consumption, supporting manufacturers to meet their sustainability goals.

“Sustainability isn’t an option; it’s an imperative for every business leader in our rapidly evolving world. To thrive and create a better future, we must embrace sustainability at the core of our operations,” said Rohit Sharma, Global HSE and Sustainability Manager, ABB Process Industries. “It’s not only about being responsible but also about staying competitive and resilient in an ever-changing global landscape. Our commitment to sustainability today will define our success and impact generations to come.”

Farnell expands offering of energy-saving products

Farnell has taken a significant step towards supporting businesses and organizations in their quest to reduce energy consumption and achieve sustainability goals. In response to the escalating challenges posed by increasing energy costs and ambitious net-zero targets set by local governments, Farnell is proud to announce the expansion of its offering of energy-efficient products.

The industrial sector plays a pivotal role in the global energy landscape, accounting for a staggering 37% of total energy demand. Alarmingly, 30% of all energy consumed in manufacturing and commercial buildings is squandered, contributing to both financial and environmental waste.

Farnell’s latest expansion of energy-efficient products is designed to empower customers by providing them with an array of innovative products that can significantly reduce energy consumption, ultimately leading to substantial cost savings.

The expansion encompasses eight key product categories, each strategically chosen to help customers make tangible strides toward energy efficiency:

  • Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) are capable of reducing energy consumption by up to an impressive 60%. Examples of VFDs from Farnell include ATV320U55N4B and ATV12P075M2.
  • Energy-Efficient Lighting Systems can help customers achieve remarkable energy savings of up to 60%. Examples of these systems include XVB-C2B5 and 1SFA619600R6101.
  • Power-Efficient Relays are designed to help reduce power consumption by up to 60%. Farnell offers a range of relays, including P7SA-14F-ND-PU DC24 and XW5T-S4.0-2.2-1.
  • Energy-Efficient Motor Systems can cut electricity consumption by up to 50%. Examples of these systems featured are 6SL32101KE238AF1 and ATV320U40S6C.
  • Occupancy Sensors can help customers reduce energy consumption by up to 50% through intelligent occupancy sensing. Examples of these sensors include T9602-5-D and 2JCIE-BU01,
  • Industrial Intelligent Power Supplies can help slash energy usage by up to 50%. Some of Farnell’s power supplies include SDR-240-24 and AQM250PS24C2,
  • Modern Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) can contribute by up to a 30% reduction in energy consumption. Farnell’s expanded offering of advanced PLCs includes the 6ES7214-1AG40-0XB0 and 6ES7223-1PL32-0XB0,
  • Energy Monitoring Systems such as smart thermostats and intelligent HVAC controls can help customers achieve up to 30% energy savings through precise temperature control. Examples of these controls are 722-0004. and H3DS-ML.

“Our expanded product proposition in this industrial sector, coupled with our heightened focus on power-efficient solutions, reflects our response to the escalating energy costs and growing significance of climate change,” said Simon Meadmore, Vice President, Product and Supplier Management at Farnell. “With this expanded range of energy-efficient products, Farnell is reinforcing its environmental responsibility, delivering business solutions that align with sustainability goals while driving operational efficiency for our customers.”

For further information on how Farnell’s expanded line of energy-efficient products can assist your organization in achieving substantial energy cost savings, please visit

RS Group announces ambitious carbon reduction targets towards net zero

RS Group has announced that four of its near-term climate reduction targets have received validation from the SBTi. The SBTi is a global body that drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling organisations to set science-based emissions reduction targets.

RS is committed to helping fight the climate crisis through genuine actions to reduce its emissions, from ensuring its distribution centres generate and use renewable electricity, to cutting the distance its products travel and switching to deliveries by road or sea rather than air. And by working with its suppliers to offer customers products that save energy and reduce the carbon footprint of their operations, through its new Better World product range.

The Group’s ambition is to reach net zero in its direct operations by 2030 and across its value chain by 2050. It is uniting the whole of RS, its 1.1 million customers and 2,500+ suppliers behind this goal, to develop and implement scalable solutions that lead to genuine emissions reductions.

RS Group has set four science-based targets covering its most important emissions areas – operations, logistics, products and suppliers. These targets and their supporting initiatives drive the organisation’s decarbonisation approach and support the target to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Following extensive engagement and a thorough validation process, the SBTi has validated its four near-term climate reduction targets as science based.

These include:

  • reducing absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 75%*
  • reducing Scope 3 transport emissions by 25% per tonne of product sold*
  • reducing Scope 3 emissions from the use of RS PRO products by 20% per tonne of products sold*
  • committing that 67% of suppliers (by spend) covering purchased goods and services will set science-based targets by 2024/2025

* from a 2019/20 base year by 2029/30.

The Company is already making good progress against these targets with a 58% reduction in its direct carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) since 2019/20, achieved by switching to renewable electricity, energy management in its distribution centres and the adoption of electric vehicles into its company car fleet. Furthermore, this year the Company launched its Better World product range in 15 markets, to help customers make more sustainable product choices, save energy, and cut their operational emissions.

Andrea Barrett, VP of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at RS Group said: “The SBTi validation is an important landmark in our 2030 environmental, social and governance (ESG) action plan – For a Better World. RS Group is one the first global providers of industrial product and service solutions to achieve this milestone, giving our stakeholders real confidence that we are committed to driving emissions reductions and progressing towards net zero.

“Of course, setting the targets is easy in comparison to the journey ahead, but we have a brilliant team assembled who are driving towards results – helping RS and our customers and suppliers achieve their climate goals.”

The SBTi classifies targets against the long-term temperature pathways of well below 2°C and 1.5°C. The SBTi’s Target Validation Team classified RS’ Scope 1 and 2 target ambition in line with a 1.5°C trajectory – the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process.

A short video and blog on this major milestone is available at and further information about RS’ progress towards its climate goals is available in its ESG reporting materials at

RS Group garners key award at the Corporate ESG Awards 2023

RS Group has won the award for ‘Best Company for Sustainability Reporting’ in the industrial sector at the Corporate ESG Awards 2023.

Initiated by ESG Investing, the Corporate ESG Awards recognise the best listed companies globally across all areas of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and sustainability performance and reporting. Nominations are eligible from listed companies of all sizes across all industry sectors. The different categories are assessed by a panel of independent judges comprising sustainability professionals in the financial markets, academics, and independent experts. 

In addition to winning the award for sustainability reporting, RS was nominated in the ‘Best Company for ESG and Sustainability’ category. 

Commenting on the award, Andrea Barrett, VP Social Responsibility and Sustainability at RS Group, said: ‘‘We were delighted to be nominated in two categories at the Corporate ESG Awards, alongside other leading listed organisations, and even more so to win Best Company for Sustainability Reporting. I believe the award is testament to the strong progress we have made since launching our 2030 ESG action plan in November 2021.”

Andrea Barrett continued: “For RS, our 2030 ESG action plan is fundamental to our purpose, strategy and decision making, and is key to driving greater long-term value for all our stakeholders including our people, customers and suppliers. Over the last year, we have focused our attention on how we can harness our knowledge, expertise, products and service solutions to help our customers and suppliers on their ESG journeys and I am delighted that our communication of this progress is being recognised within the investor community.’’

RS’ award-winning 2022/23 ESG report is available at:

Using technological innovation for environmental benefits

The industrial camera manufacturer IDS Imaging Development Systems from Obersulm feels responsible for keeping its ecological footprint as small as possible. This is reflected in its own business activities, for example, in durable, climate-compensated camera models or resource-conscious production and logistics. As an integral part of many automation solutions, the use of industrial cameras also opens up new ways for users to conserve resources and thus ensure greater sustainability.

IDS recognises the importance of conserving natural resources and strives to balance environmental, social and economic goals. With a view to global challenges such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity, the company relies on an approach that focuses not only on ecological responsibility, but also on innovation and competitiveness.

Focus on responsible action

The upcoming CSRD reporting standard highlights the relevance of sustainability in corporate governance. Accordingly, the topic is becoming a permanent fixture on the corporate agenda of more and more SMEs, and strategies are being developed. IDS is a big step ahead of other medium-sized companies: “Since 2021, we have been working in a completely climate-compensated manner. We consistently implement our comprehensive energy concept and use only 100 per cent green electricity and climate-compensated gas in Obersulm. Our logistics can definitely be described as green,” says Sebastian Liepe, Head of Quality and Environmental Management at IDS. “Various measures have been taken to achieve this. We have reduced the amount of plastic in our packaging to less than five per cent and replaced it with biodegradable and sustainable alternatives. It is expected that towards the end of the year we will be able to switch to brown packaging with a recycled content of almost 100 per cent. In addition to DHL GoGreen, we now also use the UPS carbon neutral programme. I am particularly pleased that our individual shuttle boxes are so well received and that more and more reusable packaging is being used.”

Unavoidable emissions that occur despite the exclusive development and production at the main site in Baden-Württemberg, Germany – for example, caused by delivery routes for the unavoidable, global procurement of electronic components or the employees’ commutes to the office – are offset by supporting international climate protection projects. This allows the uEye CP camera family and the uEye ACP models to call themselves climate-compensated.

Enabler for sustainable applications and processes

The company pursues the goal of developing products that not only offer technological innovation, but also ecological benefits. In an era of increasing automation and robotics, machine vision (with artificial intelligence) plays a crucial role. With their help, companies can improve their product quality as well as save resources and produce in a more environmentally friendly way. Industrial cameras record quality characteristics or consumption data, for example. Used in quality assurance or inspection, they reduce rejects and avoid complaints, returns or repairs. In robotics and automation, cameras enable collaborative work and support employees in physically difficult or monotonous tasks. In this way, companies can direct their human resources to more creative and valuable tasks.

The almost unlimited range of applications covers multiple non-industrial and industrial sectors in the field of equipment, plant and mechanical engineering. Jan Hartmann – IDS Managing Partner: “In many areas, our industrial cameras not only help to optimise processes and make them significantly more sustainable, for example by identifying and improving bottlenecks or inefficient processes. Innovation potential also arises when our cameras are used in sustainable applications: In forestry, our systems can help to detect and localise fires at an early stage in order to minimise or even prevent serious damage. In agriculture, AI-based cameras can identify weeds and thus apply pesticides only selectively in an environmentally friendly manner. Intelligent harvesters, in turn, are able to identify the optimal time to harvest and reduce waste. In medical technology, for example, cameras are used in the automated visual inspection of medical equipment, and in intralogistics they prevent costly and image-damaging complaints by optimising the inspection of goods. The spectrum of possible applications illustrates the great potential of visual and intelligent sensor technology as an enabler for sustainable solutions.”

Bowers Group achieves ISO 14001 Environmental Standard: A milestone in environmental responsibility

In a significant step towards a more sustainable future, Bowers Group is pleased to announce that it has attained the prestigious ISO 14001 environmental standard across the entire business.

This achievement underscores the company’s unwavering commitment in its Net Zero journey, environmental sustainability, and responsible business practices.

ISO 14001 stands as an internationally recognised benchmark that defines the criteria for an effective environmental management system. It provides a structured framework for organisations to improve environmental performance, reduce its ecological footprint, and bolster resource efficiency.

Managing Director at Bowers Group, Martin Hawkins, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded the ISO 14001 Certification, it’s a testament to the hard work and shared vision of our entire team and a significant step towards our ultimate goal of being Net Zero by 2050. This accomplishment echoes our unwavering dedication to safeguarding the environment and supporting a sustainable world for present and future generations.

“By achieving this certification, we signal our commitment to upholding the highest standards of environmental responsibility in every area of our operations. This means not just reducing waste and minimising environmental footprint but also inspiring others to join this transformative path.”

With its sights set on a sustainable future, Bowers Group remain committed in its pursuit of responsible practices. The achievement of ISO 14001 certification is a step forward in the company’s Net Zero journey.

Emerson receives Bosch Global Supplier Award recognising sustainability and emissions progress

Global technology and software company Emerson received the 2023 Bosch Global Supplier Award, placing the company among a select global group of Bosch’s most valued suppliers helping drive innovation in pursuit of sustainability targets and their commitment to climate neutrality. Emerson earned the Global Supplier Award for Sustainability, recognising the company’s exemplary commitment to climate neutrality and comprehensive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“Sustainable supply chains strengthen global prosperity and benefit society,” said Dr. Arne Flemming, Bosch’s head of supply chain management. “We especially honour our suppliers’ commitment to climate action with an award in the special ‘Sustainability’ category.”

Emerson is a longtime automation partner to Bosch. Emerson’s global factory automation solutions portfolio helps companies meet their carbon neutral milestones. Emerson recently announced it has achieved a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity from the 2018 baseline, surpassing its original 20% target six years ahead of schedule. Emerson has an A- score from the Carbon Disclosure Project and prioritises advancing solutions that impact the environment: 70% of its revenue is tied to sustainability-enabling technologies for customers.

“Emerson is deeply honoured to receive the 2023 Bosch Global Supplier Award in the Sustainability category,” said Emerson Chief Sustainability Officer Mike Train. “Our efforts are having a measurable impact as we partner with customers to make the world healthier, safer, smarter and more sustainable. We will continue to take actions that tackle emissions across our global operations while supporting our customers in their decarbonisation efforts and the broader communities we serve.”

Since 1987, Bosch has presented these awards every two years to its top suppliers in categories covering sustainability, purchasing of indirect materials and services, and raw materials and components. From its approximately 35,000 global suppliers, Bosch recognised Emerson and 45 other suppliers from 11 countries for the Global Supplier Awards on July 14, 2023, at the International Congress Center in Dresden, Germany.

For more information on Emerson’s environmental sustainability programs and initiatives, visit

Analog Devices releases 2022 Environment, Social and Governance report

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), a global semiconductor leader, has released its 2022 Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) report. The publication highlights how ADI’s solutions benefit society and the planet, introduces a new total water withdrawn intensity goal, and continues the company’s commitment to transparent and accurate disclosures.

“ADI’s immensely talented, passionate, and dedicated workforce is tackling the world’s greatest challenges in partnership with our customers and partners, and we are confident there is no obstacle we can’t overcome together,” said Vincent Roche, ADI’s CEO and Chair. “We are pleased with our ESG accomplishments and how our efforts are helping our customers and partners meet their own ESG goals, however, the urgency of the issues we face means we are never satisfied. We remain thoroughly committed and optimistic about the positive impact our technologies can have for the health of humanity and the planet.”

Key updates from the company in the 2022 report include:

  • ADI’s Solutions Benefit Society and the Planet: ADI has become a leader in designing the semiconductors and system solutions that bridge the physical and digital world for the benefit of society and the planet. ADI works with customers to co-create innovations that improve quality of life and solve pressing challenges across its end markets, which include industrial, automotive, communications, digital healthcare, and consumer. Green revenue represented about 30% of ADI’s total revenue in fiscal year 2022, increasing approximately 34% from fiscal year 2021. Roughly 30% of ADI’s R&D was green-focused, level with the company’s fiscal year 2021 green R&D.
  • Introduction of New 2027 Total Water Withdrawn Intensity Goal: ADI has set a new goal to achieve a 50% reduction in total water withdrawal normalised to fab production output by 2027. This goal is in addition to ADI’s progress of reaching a 25% water recycling rate in manufacturing facilities.
  • Enhanced Transparency of Disclosures: In line with its commitment to transparent and accurate disclosures for all stakeholders, the 2022 ESG Report includes a new ESG Results section that itemises ESG performance metrics and KPIs. This section defines each KPI, includes available values and, where appropriate, aligns them with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Key progress against the company’s ESG commitments include:

  • Climate: Achieved a 7.2% decrease in absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2019, and a 37% decrease in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity by revenue from 2019. For the first time, the company also disclosed full Scope 3 emissions, an essential component of achieving its goal of Net Zero emissions across the value chain by 2050 or sooner.
  • Energy: 54% of electricity used at ADI’s manufacturing facilities came from renewables in 2022, putting the company on track to achieve its goal of 100% by 2025.
  • Waste: The company is making substantial progress toward reaching its goal of diverting 100% of its waste at ADI manufacturing facilities, achieving 90% in 2022.
  • DE&I: In 2022, 25% of managers globally were female, supporting ADI’s goal of increasing the global female manager population to 29% by 2026. ADI also remains on track to increase its combined Black, Hispanic, and Latinx employee population in the United States from 7% in 2022 to 9% by 2026.

For more on ADI’s ESG commitments, please visit

Made Smarter whitepaper to accelerate SME manufacturers to net zero

Made Smarter has launched a whitepaper to help SME manufacturers accelerate their net zero plans.

Decarbonisation through Digitalisation: manufacturing made smarter and greener with technology’ is a practical guide to industry’s biggest challenge and opportunity.

The free-to-download document from the government-backed and industry-led technology adoption programme, aims to simplify a complex and fast-evolving topic by demystifying some of the terminology and analysing the latest research.

Crucially, the whitepaper offers insights about how a variety of technologies enable manufacturing and engineering businesses to make things smarter and greener, while powering growth and creating new highly skilled jobs.

The whitepaper showcases makers who have started their decarbonisation journeys with Made Smarter including Crystal Doors, Fylde Fresh and Fabulous, and The Cumbria Clock Company.

It also signposts manufacturers to other initiatives including, Race to Zero, a campaign led by the United Nations, and the SME Climate Hub,  a non-profit global initiative that empowers companies with tips and tools, including its Business Carbon Calculator.

Donna Edwards, Director of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme, said: “Manufacturing is vital to the UK economy and our daily lives. But it also has a colossal impact on our environment. 

“The pressure and scrutiny on the sector to be more sustainable is ramping up, and coming from all directions. It is our biggest challenge, but it is also a significant opportunity. 

“Decarbonisation is not a distraction. It is an imperative. Talk needs to stop and make way for action and a concerted commitment to change. UK manufacturing must get behind the mantra that the future is decarbonised and digital.

“Made Smarter is committed to help small and medium sized makers get there with vision, technology, leadership and collaboration. Our hope is that our ‘Decarbonisation through Digitalisation’ whitepaper will become a valuable part of any manufacturer’s toolkit to support their net zero journey.”

Over the last four years, Made Smarter has provided impartial, tailored and expert advice to thousands of manufacturers of every size and shape, and from every sector. 

Digital transformation workshops offer practical steps towards digitisation and a clear digital roadmap to follow. There is also funding to help SMEs invest in technology and a variety of support to enable businesses to adapt to the green skills and digital leadership a net zero future demands.

Donna Edwards added: “In recent years we’ve seen technology play an incredibly important part in tackling disruptive and emerging challenges. It has helped businesses navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and recover, negotiate supply chain disruption and labour shortages, as well as focus on solutions to mitigate the energy crisis.

“For the climate emergency, digitalisation offers manufacturers a huge opportunity to deliver operational efficiencies, decarbonise heat and power, optimise design and materials, and improve logistics and transport, benefitting their business, their bottom line and the environment. Then there is the reputational gain which helps secure customer loyalty, as well as attract new talent and investment.

“While decarbonisation might feel overwhelming, and it is by no means a simple task, it is vital manufacturers recognise they are not alone. Combating climate change demands collaboration, and that is exactly what Made Smarter is here for.”

To download the whitepaper visit:

For more information visit

Maximising efficient manufacturing with minimised energy

In recent years, rising energy costs have become a significant concern for manufacturers in the United Kingdom. According to a recent survey by Make UK, six in ten manufacturers believe that the severity of these rising energy costs poses a threat to their businesses. In such challenging times, it becomes crucial for manufacturers to find innovative ways to reduce energy consumption and lower their operational costs. Here, Jeremy Whittingham, industry consultant and member of the Advanced Engineering team highlights practical strategies and initiatives that can help manufacturers save energy and navigate through these difficult times.

Conduct an energy audit

The first step towards reducing energy consumption is to conduct a comprehensive energy audit, looking at energy usage patterns, equipment efficiency and overall building efficiency. In the industrial sector, often the most energy consuming position is the process energy use, such as using high power appliances like electrical welders, machine tools, steel melting furnaces or wood drying chambers. By assessing the current energy usage and identifying areas of inefficiency, manufacturers can gain valuable insights and develop targeted energy-saving strategies. Engaging a professional energy auditor can provide expertise and recommendations tailored to the specific needs of the manufacturing facility.

Invest in energy efficient equipment

Replacing outdated machinery and equipment with energy-efficient alternatives can have a significant impact on reducing energy costs. According to the 2022 Energy Efficiency Survey Report by ABB, replacing the world’s 300 million industrial motor-driven systems with optimised, high-efficiency equipment could lead to a ten per cent reduction in global electricity consumption. This reduction is equivalent to more than 90 per cent of the entire European Union’s annual consumption.. Manufacturers wanting to invest in energy-efficient equipment should look for equipment that has best-in-class efficiency ratings, like IE3 (premium efficiency) or IE4 (super premium efficiency) for motors, or advanced technology, such as variable speed drives combined with electric motors.

Implement smart manufacturing

Embrace the concept of smart manufacturing, where advanced automation and data analytics are utilised to optimise energy consumption. Implementing sensors, controls, and monitoring systems can help identify energy waste and enable real-time adjustments to optimise energy usage. For example, Colgate-Palmolive is using smart flow pneumatic sensors and IIoT-enabled software architecture to monitor compressed air flow in real-time to identify leaks, optimise pneumatic processes and improve air flow efficiency in its product packaging facilities – by using these technologies, the company has already seen a 15 per cent reduction in energy usage on its packaging lines. By collecting and analysing data, manufacturers can gain valuable insights into their energy usage patterns and make informed decisions.

Optimise production processes

Streamlining production processes not only reduces energy consumption but also improves productivity. Identifying bottlenecks by closely analysing the production workflow helps companies take proactive measures to resolve them, using methods such as reorganising workstations, redistributing tasks or implementing automation technologies. Eliminating unnecessary steps is another crucial aspect of streamlining production processes and reducing energy consumption — many manufacturing workflows tend to have obsolete steps that consume energy without contributing to product quality or functionality. Implementing lean manufacturing principles is another effective strategy to reduce waste and minimise energy-intensive processes. Lean manufacturing focuses on identifying and eliminating non-value-added activities or practices within the production system. This approach emphasises continuous improvement, waste reduction, and the efficient use of resources.

Embrace renewable energy

Consider integrating renewable energy sources into the manufacturing facility. Installing solar panels, wind turbines, or utilising geothermal energy can generate clean and sustainable power, thereby reducing reliance on grid electricity as well as increasing energy security and independence. By generating power on site, manufacturing facilities become less reliant on external energy suppliers and are less vulnerable to fluctuations in energy prices or supply disruptions. Although the initial investment may seem substantial, the long-term savings and positive environmental impact make it a worthwhile endeavour. Over time, the cost of generating renewable energy can be significantly lower than purchasing electricity from the grid, especially when we consider potential incentives from government sources, tax credits, and reduced operational costs. By investing in renewable energy infrastructure, manufacturers can stabilise their energy costs and potentially generate additional revenue by selling excess energy back to the grid.

Foster a culture of continuous improvement

Make energy efficiency an integral part of the company culture. Encouraging regular communication and feedback among employees regarding energy-saving ideas and initiatives, as well as implementing a way of sharing best practice knowledge for the processes and machines within the facility means that energy saving can be a company-wide initiative which all employees are invested in. Defining and implementing key performance indicators (KPIs) related to energy consumption, such as overall energy consumption per unit of production, or percentage of renewable energy utilised, manufacturers can monitor their progress and identify areas for improvement. By fostering a culture that values energy-saving efforts, manufacturers can create a sense of ownership and encourage continuous improvement.

The rising energy costs in all industries can indeed be threatening to businesses, but it also presents an opportunity for manufacturers to embrace energy-saving practices and drive positive change. Implementing some of these energy-saving measures will not only lead to substantial cost savings but also demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Remember, saving energy is not only beneficial for individual businesses but also contributes to the greater goal of a sustainable future for the entire manufacturing sector and the UK economy as a whole. Let’s embrace energy efficiency to overcome challenges and build a resilient and thriving manufacturing industry.

This year, at Advanced Engineering, visitors will be able to experience our sustainability trail, showcasing exhibitors that have a product or service that helps reduce our impact on the environment. To experience this, and much more, register for a ticket on the Advanced Engineering website.