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Next Manufacturing Revolution


The Next Manufacturing Revolution (NMR) is a collaboration between Lavery Pennell, the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing and 2degrees to accelerate manufacturing improvements in non-labour resource productivity to realise the available benefits in profits, jobs and environmental sustainability. Lavery Pennell was lead author for the NMR report which quantifies the significant untapped opportunities for UK manufacturing from non-labour resource efficiency and outlines a programme of action to address the barriers to uptake.

The report summarises 12 months of research examining resource efficiency performance compared to international good practice for each sub-sector. It found that while many UK manufacturers have achieved 10 to 15% efficiency gains over the last decade, leading companies have achieved over 50% improvements in the same timeframe.

All manufacturing companies were found to have room for improvement:

  • Significant variation in non-labour resource performance was observed between companies within each manufacturing sub-sector.
  • Four types of improvement were identified which are rarely all fully utilised: incremental improvement, process and system improvement, structural change and core redesign.
  • Even leading companies are performing inconsistently across the resource efficiency topics examined of circular resource use, transport efficiency, energy efficiency, packaging optimisation, supply chain collaboration and resource efficient product & business model innovation.

The opportunity was conservatively calculated to be worth £10 billion p.a. in additional profits for UK manufacturers, to create 300,000 new jobs and to reduce CO2e emissions by 24% for the UK manufacturing sector (4.5% of UK’s total annual emissions).

Tri-benefit diagram

Wider benefits from the programme also accrue to communities including indirect jobs, greater tax revenues and an improved environment.

You can download the full report here and read more about NMR at www.nextmanufacturingrevolution.org

Achieving the continuous improvements in competitiveness necessary for a company to succeed in the modern world can only be achieved by relentless year over year improvements in innovation and all forms of productivity.   So I welcome this report which presents the untapped potential of resource efficiency for UK manufacturing.   This is a subject that has not received the wide attention that it deserves, given its low risk potential to boost profits while improving the sustainability of manufacturing … I encourage the manufacturing community to support this and other resource efficiency initiatives, not only because they leave a cleaner environment – but also because they are profitable and great for business.

Sir George Buckley

Chairman, Smiths Group

What you have produced here is incredibly important and it is a signpost to the future. I think your report focussing on non-labour resource efficiency and the potential for UK manufacturing isn’t just timely, it is absolutely bang on.

Gregory Barker

Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change