How can we improve our carbon footprint tomorrow, if we don’t know what it looks like today?
21 November 2022
Ahead of the COP27 conference, Rania Al Mashat, Egypt's minister for international cooperation explained that this COP is “about moving from pledges to implementation”. In the push for Net Zero, governments and industry are under more pressure to accelerate their efforts. In the manufacturing sector this is particularly challenging given the complexity of our operations.
Manufacturing cannot become sustainable overnight — it is a significant challenge to redesign parts and associated production processes to lower embodied carbon, including utilising materials and components that are less harmful to the environment, but importantly, have no adverse impact on performance and have prices that make commercial sense. As a result, businesses can be hesitant to take steps to become more sustainable, because they are unsure what will deliver the most positive impact.
From our experience, we believe that effective change can only begin when you have gained a real understanding of your carbon footprint. Measuring existing emissions, both in the business and across the supply chain, enables business owners to establish their current position, set clear targets outlining their sustainability goals and then work backwards to develop an effective plan.
Arguably, the biggest challenge our industry faces is to measure and address Scope 3 emissions — indirect emissions generated by all organisations involved in the value chain. For the engineering industry to outline accurate baseline data we must work together to build best practice for collecting and sharing our data.
Making small yet impactful changes, such as switching to renewable electricity or swapping to more energy efficient equipment, will account for a business' direct impact on emissions. However, we cannot make further progress unless we also address our indirect impact on the planet. Reducing all Scope 3 emissions may seem like a daunting task, but if businesses across the supply chain come together to share their data and sustainability goals, we can accelerate action and reduce emissions at scale.
Head of Sustainability at Renishaw
Read more about Renishaw's sustainability commitments Sustainability (renishaw.com)
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