Taking place 8-9 February, The National Manufacturing Summit will return for its second edition in 2022, with this year’s iteration focusing on achieving a net zero future.

The summit will bring together the many voices of manufacturing industry to help create a vision of partnership and collaboration, driven by emerging technologies, to ensure our world-class industries can innovate to meet the challenges ahead and deliver a successful, sustainable future.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from key influencers, who will provide a state-of-the-nation, reviewing the progress on emerging technologies and give an opportunity to hear about new sectors that will help grow the UK’s global manufacturing footprint whilst achieving a net zero future.

Three core themes will give the summit a clear focus, with the conference sessions targeting the transformational potential for a more sustainable future across a series of key industrial sectors that combined, will have a major bearing on our ability to scale the summit to a brighter net zero future.

These three core themes are:


Field to Fork

Tractor - agriculture SOURCE: Pixabay

In a world of reduced resources, our food manufacturers and those responsible for the management of our land stock are under increasing pressure to maximise their processes to extract the most value from their work whilst minimising their impact on the environment.

With growing challenges of limited human resources to support our farmers and food producers, coupled with growing human demand and changing consumer habits, our agriculture sector, food producers and the supply chain that gets food on our tables, face a series of challenges that require innovation, adoption of new technologies and collaboration throughout the supply chain.

There is a growing demand by consumers to eat food produced more locally, to eat less meat, more plant-based foods and for consumers to know that their food choices aren’t impacting the environment in terms of how it’s grown, manufactured, packaged, transported and sold. This provides new challenges to farmers and food producers, food manufacturers, logistics hauliers and retailers with every step of the supply chain required to limit their environmental impact.

Innovations in automation and robotics to support picking and packing, digitalisation to enhance crop and land management, new materials for packaging and EV’s for logistics are just some of the advancements in existing and future technologies that could support the sector to thrive and scale the summit of its environmental and sustainable challenges.

Factory to DoorThe National Manufacturing Summit

Automotive Factory SOURCE: Shutterstock

As consumer demands change, manufacturers, retailers and hauliers need to react and create more sustainable ways to produce, package, retail and deliver their products to consumers. How products are made, the materials used, where these are sourced, how goods are packaged and transported are all of increasing interest to more digitally savvy consumers and play a big part in their spending decisions.

At the same time retailers want to ensure their manufacturers are able to deliver products more sustainably as they assess their supply chain against new criteria increasingly weighted towards more environmentally conscious methods of manufacture. As technology also increases the opportunities for more personalised products and small batch manufacture, manufacturers have to ensure they can deliver efficiencies previously focused on large scale production lines to meet the growing demand for one off products, delivered direct to the consumer.

As consumers are increasingly won and lost based on a company’s environmental credentials, so too will the large-scale future contracts to produce, package and deliver goods. This means the entire supply chain needs to review how it works and continue to innovate to ensure it can meet these demands and create more sustainable ways to do business.

Fossil Fuels to Renewables

Renewables SOURCE: iStock

By 2050 the UK must have achieved net zero emissions, and by 2035 the law states that we must have reduced our emissions by 78% compared with levels from the 1990s. To achieve this, the UK will need to significantly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels from oil, coal and gas and work towards a future where clean electricity is able to meet the demands of an ever-growing population.

In a recent speech, the Prime Minister stated his ambitions to end gas-fired electricity generation in the UK by 2035. With coal-fired electricity production due to cease in 2024 this means the entirety of the nation’s electricity would come from renewables e.g. inshore and offshore wind farms, solar farms and nuclear. This compares to approximately 40% today.

The UK government has set a series of targets and milestones that combined can make real inroads into both the 2035 targets for clean electricity and reduced emissions as well as the overall 2050 net zero goal. Investment in new renewable projects such as Hornsea One and Two, the world’s largest wind farms; increases in charging points infrastructure for electric vehicles; incentives to buy EVs; and working with OEMs such as Rolls Royce on the new small nuclear reactor programme are all strong actions that highlights the government’s intentions to remove our reliance on fossil fuels and move to a future driven by cleaner, greener, renewable electricity.

This clear focus on renewables provides significant opportunities for UK manufacturing, advanced engineering companies and their supply chains. Businesses will need to adapt, show their agility and seize the opportunities but those able to scale the summit and create solutions to meet the needs for renewable energy production can become the next generation of global manufacturing success stories, flying the flag for UK innovation in the race to net zero.


Source – https://www.themanufacturer.com/