A net zero checklist for manufacturers

Manufacturing edited flipped low contrast

To support the UK Government's 2050 net zero commitment, organisations in every sector must begin their own net zero journeys.

As one of the leading contributors to carbon emissions in the UK, the manufacturing sector has an important role in helping the UK meet its goal.

Our online checklist is designed to guide you through the process, helping you save money by maximising your efficiencies and minimising your carbon footprint simultaneously.

Manufacturing net zero checklist

1. Measurement & Benchmarking

Starting your journey to net zero will look different for every manufacturer. It's important to find an action plan tailored specifically to your needs that works within your budget restrictions. As a first step, we recommend using a carbon calculating service to measure your carbon footprint. This will allow you to identify sources of emissions and any potential cost savings and create a benchmark for you to work against.

✔️ Measure your factory's carbon footprint using carbon calculating services, like an online calculator

✔️ Document the results for benchmarking to keep yourself accountable

✔️ Outline a budget and implementation strategy

2. Renewable Energy Supply & Onsite Generation

Prioritising renewable energy usage and onsite generation is an efficient way to reduce Scope 2 carbon emissions and can help manufacturers to create new revenue streams. Onsite battery storage solutions can also help to provide power at times when the weather prevents intermittent generation.

✔️ Switch to a renewable energy supplier

✔️ Install a smart meter to help you understand your energy usage and look for ways to optimise your usage

✔️ Install LED lighting and insulation to reduce energy usage

✔️ Invest in onsite renewable energy generation technology such as solar panels

✔️ Invest in battery storage solutions

✔️ Invest in carbon capture and storage technology

3. Transport & Machinery

"New and emerging technologies are enabling manufacturers to reduce their carbon emissions by transitioning to zero- or low-emission alternatives. Some of these are still in development, but many are available today.

✔️ Identify opportunities to switch energy-intensive processes from fossil fuels to low-carbon alternatives

✔️ Identify opportunities to decarbonise heat, such as the use of heat pumps

✔️ Optimise electric assets with support from a flexibility provider

✔️ Create an electrification strategy for your fleet, and prioritise the vehicles which are suitable for switching out for EVs now

✔️ Install EV charging facilities for staff and visitors

4. Supply Chain

Decarbonising the supply chain is a major challenge as it requires industries outside of manufacturing, such as the mining and oil & gas industries, to decarbonise their processes. However, there are a number of things manufacturers can do to minimise their Scope 3 emissions.

✔️ Prioritise the use of recycled raw, or even waste materials, rather than new products as part of a circular economy strategy

✔️ Create new, green supply chains by partnering with suppliers who share your values

✔️ Collaborate with suppliers to encourage the uptake of innovative technologies or implementation of emission reduction initiatives - also known as insetting

5. Internal and external communication

Communication is key when it comes to your path to net zero. It's important that all of your staff, from the Board down to the factory floor, are fully onboard and feel part of the journey. Likewise, ensure your stakeholders and customers know about your commitments, sharing your successes and shortcomings.

✔️ Encourage change by starting conversations with Board and C-Suite decision makers

✔️ Inspire and encourage stakeholders to move towards net zero by bringing them on the journey

✔️ Equip workers by upskilling them on net zero values

For more advice on creating and implementing a net zero action plan, visit our Manufacturing page.

Sustainability for Manufacturing