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One third of manufacturing companies still to commit to net zero

A third (35%) of manufacturing companies have yet to make a formal commitment to net zero, according to new research* by renewable energy company Drax.

The study of over 160 UK manufacturers found that of the two thirds who have made a commitment, 32% have no strategy in place on how they will reach net zero.

This is despite the UK Government’s own targets, which state it must reduce all greenhouse gas emissions across the country to net zero by 2050.

Those manufacturers that don’t have a formal net zero strategy in place said capital resources were a significant barrier (45%). Increased costs not being accepted by customers/consumers (43%) and concerns about disruption to their business operations (42%) were also cited as crucial concerns.

Emissions from the manufacturing sector make up 60% of the UK’s total emissions, so decarbonising the sector would have a significant impact on the UK’s targets.

Adam Hall, Director of Energy Services at Drax, said: “The benefits of reducing a business’ carbon footprint often outweigh any perceived downside. Increased operational efficiency, lower costs over the long-term, and improved reputation among key stakeholders and customers are just some of the advantages.

The findings of the study also highlighted the growing need among manufacturing companies for data analysis knowledge and skills within their workforce. 85%  of manufacturers said they considered data analysis a top priority for achieving net zero, but less than half (42%) cited a lack of knowledge within the business as a major barrier to implementing change.

Hall continued: “Accurate and reliable data holds the key to the transition. Analysing half hourly meter data can help businesses to optimise their energy usage. Accessing and interpreting this data can be challenging, which is where an energy partner like Drax can come in. We can help businesses to navigate the complexities and put in place a road map that works for their individual needs.”

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Its 3,400 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties.

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

Pellet production and supply:
Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com