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Delivering on Carbon Neutral Goals

Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

Delivering on Carbon Neutral Goals

“The game changer in sustainability and cutting greenhouse gas emissions is digital. Through a 360° partnership, we are able to take even the most efficient piece of equipment and turn it into a powerhouse."

— Katie McGinty , Vice President & Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Johnson Controls

Executive Summary

Industrial companies are coming under increasing pressure from regulators, consumers, job seekers, and investors to reduce their heavy carbon footprint. The fact that the sector accounts for more than half of all energy consumption and one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions globally reveals the enormity of the task. At the same time, making progress holds the promise of a sizeable reward.

To gain a more textured understanding of where industrial companies stand on decarbonization, the Manufacturers Alliance recently partnered with Infosys to take a deep dive into the topic. We surveyed almost 200 companies and conducted one-on-one executive interviews with companies in both the process and product manufacturing sectors.

Our top-level findings reveal that companies are eager to lower their carbon footprint, but many are stalled — unable to move from visibility to transparency and analysis to action. They are actively looking for best practices that can be shared across industries and scaled for a range of company sizes.

Companies' Current Status on Carbon Footprint Initiatives and Strategies

Companies’ current status on carbon footprint initiatives and strategies
Manufacturers Alliance: Delivering on Carbon Neutral Goals

Key Findings

  • The vast majority of manufacturers we surveyed are already tracking their direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) emissions.
  • Tracking the enormous category of Scope 3 emissions — those upstream and downstream of the factory gates — is the most difficult area to master, and most have not started. Notable exceptions include the Automotive and Aerospace industries, which are focusing on Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, roughly double the rate of the rest of our sample.
  • The top three challenges cited as impediments to action included the inability to measure all related factors, the lack of resources to tackle goals, and unclear ownership and roles inside the company.
  • Over the next three to five years, the most frequently mentioned projects include improving energy efficiencies (e.g. renewables, lighting), reducing the overall environmental footprint (e.g. energy, packaging, water) and making operational updates (e.g. vehicles, shipping, suppliers, scrap).
  • Digital technologies are the key to tracking and reducing carbon emissions due to their inherent ability to increase transparency and accelerate decision making.

Read the full report to see how manufacturing companies are addressing the decarbonization imperative, which programs are on the near-term horizon, where they have surmounted obstacles, and why leaders in this space view sustainability as an enabler of both short- and long-term performance gains.

View Full Report

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