UK manufacturers embrace resource efficiency but reject eco-design


UK manufacturers embrace resource efficiency but reject eco-design

Peta Hodge
10th March 2010
Despite their greater commitment to resource efficiency, UK manufacturers – particularly SMEs – are reluctant to invest in ‘eco-design’ to reduce the environmental impact of their products.
This was a key finding from the latest survey of the sector’s environmental performance by the manufacturers’ organisation, EEF.

The survey of nearly 300 manufacturing companies across the UK, suggests that resource efficiency – particularly recycling, reduction of business waste and energy efficiency – is now embedded in the sector, with around 90 per cent of respondents having taken some sort of action in these areas.

Cost main driver for resource efficiency

Four in every five companies cited cost savings as the main driver behind improving their environmental performance.

However, the survey found the take–up of eco-design – which focuses on reducing the ‘whole-life’ environmental impact of the product from raw material acquisition, through production and finally to recycling and disposal – to be “disappointing”.

Size matters in this respect. Almost three quarters of the largest companies (employing more than 500 staff) have introduced, or are planning to introduce, eco-design strategies. Whereas a mere 34 per cent of the smallest companies have similar plans………………

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