As the world grapples with climate change and carbon emissions, the manufacturing industry is also feeling the pressure to transition towards more sustainable practices. This sector, which contributed to 15% of the UK’s total business economy emissions in 2020 , has become a crucial player in the nation’s push towards a greener future. In response, the industry is increasingly embracing renewable energy and advanced energy-efficient technologies. Here, we look at the latest green energy trends shaping the manufacturing industry.
Riding the Renewable Wave
One of the most significant green energy trends is the growing adoption of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, in manufacturing operations. The UK’s manufacturing sector’s energy consumption from renewable sources has increased by a remarkable 200% over the past decade , reflecting the sector’s commitment to cleaner energy.
Advancements in Energy Efficiency
Another trend is the use of energy-efficient technologies and machinery to minimise energy consumption. Manufacturers are investing in state-of-the-art equipment that requires less power to operate while maintaining high output levels. Such advancements contribute to lower operational costs, reduced carbon footprints, and overall sustainability in manufacturing.
Regulatory Push and Industry Commitment
Regulatory compliance and the manufacturing industry’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions have also driven green energy transitions. The manufacturing sector’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 14% from 2019 to 2020 , indicating a positive response to regulatory demands and a shift towards sustainable operations.
Embracing the Circular Economy
The concept of a circular economy, which promotes resource efficiency and waste reduction, is making waves in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers are focusing on creating products that can be fully recycled or repurposed at the end of their lifecycle, minimising waste and making the most of available resources.
The Role of Digitalisation
Lastly, digitalisation is playing an instrumental role in enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability in the manufacturing industry. Technologies such as AI, IoT, and advanced data analytics are helping manufacturers monitor and optimise energy use, streamline operations, and identify areas where efficiency can be improved.
In conclusion, the UK’s manufacturing industry is undergoing a green transformation, powered by renewable energy adoption, energy-efficient technologies, regulatory compliance, circular economy principles, and digitalisation. These trends are not only making manufacturing processes more sustainable but also making a substantial contribution to the nation’s net-zero ambitions.
 Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. (2023). Energy Trends in the UK Manufacturing Sector.
 Office for National Statistics. (2023). Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the UK’s Business Economy.
 National Grid. (2023). Manufacturing Sector’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.