Insights / Net zero in manufacturing: Who's in charge?

Net zero in manufacturing: Who's in charge?

20th September 2021

We’ve recently concluded a major piece of research into how UK manufacturing bodies are reaching net zero carbon emissions.

The report, Navigate to Next, reveals a number of trends across the manufacturing industry - including which employees are taking the professional responsibility for net zero in their business.


More than half (53%) of manufacturers who responded said that leadership came from the very top of their business. However, 40% of respondents reported that, in their experience, reaching net zero was a higher priority for some CEOs than others.

Together with the CEO, the other two roles that were consistently mentioned in our research were those of the people responsible for the operations/engineering and finance functions.

While many companies clearly are taking decarbonisation very seriously, there’s still perceived to be a lack of dedicated sustainability professionals among our respondents. Just over 10% of respondents reported a dedicated sustainability role in their carbon reduction team. Many organisations are working to broaden their sustainability knowledge, often through continuous professional development.

Meanwhile, despite understanding the importance of sustainability for their external reputation, none of the businesses interviewed had a marketing or brand lead as part of their team working towards net zero. In fact, HR professionals were much more likely to be involved than marketers. This might suggest that manufacturers are missing an opportunity to communicate their sustainability journey to their customers or other stakeholders.

Decarbonisation’s only going to become more important. Find out how your competitors are preparing for net zero. Download your free copy now.

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