Adapting the manufacturing sector for a brighter future

Think tank: Civitas

Author(s): Jim McConalogue; Aaryaman Banerji

March 13, 2023

This report from UK think tank Civitas looks at new approaches to energy resilience among SMEs.

In this latest Civitas publication, Dr Jim McConologue and Aaryaman Banerji look into energy resilience among SME manufacturers in the UK. The importance of SMEs within the manufacturing sector and across the UK economy should not be overlooked. There are 244,140 manufacturing businesses across the UK providing just over 2.5 million jobs. 99.5% of those businesses, just under 243,000, are SMEs. For many businesses across the country, this current period spells the dawn of a new era, whereby energy risks becoming not only too expensive but dependent upon an infrastructure over which they have little control. It is a particularly pressing threat to the UK’s manufacturing sector, much of which relies on large amounts of consistently supplied energy to power its processes, at an affordable rate. The solution advanced by respondents to this research report suggested a cooled, more adaptable approach: one of ‘net zero realism’ – meaning we can still achieve environmental aims by boosting business and growth plans.