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Energy cost reduction 'critical'

Energy cost reduction 'critical'

Energy cost reduction 'critical'

Energy efficiency technologies are being increasingly adopted by firms operating in the UK's manufacturing sector.

This is according to the findings of a new report from electronics company Siemens, which welcomed the appetite for reducing costs and cutting emissions.

It was specified that 79 per cent of businesses in the industry are citing this as a critical consideration for the year ahead. A reinforced level of investment sentiment was singled out as being one of the driving forces behind the trend.

More than two-thirds of respondents - 68 per cent - said they are planning to escalate the amount of finance they sink into energy management over the coming 12 months, with particular attention to be given to renewable and self-generation technologies.

This does not necessarily mean purchasing new equipment - as a carbon footprint can also be reduced by rethinking an approach to existing resources. For instance, professional cleaning services using only biodegradable and carbon free products, such as those offered by Aurora, will undoubtedly help to minimise the firm's impact on the environment.

Indeed, it was indicated that 70 per cent of respondents are taking a strategic approach to management for the year ahead - although this drops to 50 per cent for those with five-year plans.

The Siemens report, which was titled The Future of Energy: The UK Manufacturing Opportunity, sought the views of board directors, senior management and energy managers from 600 manufacturing companies all over the country.

These represented all of the major sectors - and this helped to establish that energy management is a consideration now under discussion at board level in the majority - 89 per cent - of businesses.

Gaining a competitive advantage is one of the main reasons enterprises are pursuing this goal, with the vast majority of respondents acknowledging this as the main criteria by which they are measuring their progress.

Another critical factor was found to be staff engagement, with 76 per cent of manufacturers saying they had gone so far as to implement an active and formalised training programme to support their energy management initiatives.

Head of energy efficiency and environmental care at Siemens Industry Steve Barker welcomed these trends, but emphasised just how important it is that this kind of attitude catches on and permeates the entire industry.

"A significant minority of manufacturers are still struggling to recognise the benefits of a strategic approach to energy management," he commented.

Mr Barker added that there are lots of perceived barriers to investment that can actually be overcome relatively easily, particularly if the right information is found and flexible financial support is accessed.

"It is most welcome to witness the progress the manufacturing sector is making, especially as one of the most energy-intensive areas of the UK economy," he remarked, adding: "Indeed, the recent publication of details concerning the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme continues to ensure that a focus on energy remains in the spotlight.

"Progress in terms of leadership from the top, strategic planning, proactive staff engagement and increased investment levels are all to be applauded - but the real reward for business is evidenced in the bottom line," Mr Barker stated.

 

Posted by William Rodriguez