How can UK industries change to help fight global warming?

Posted by Andi

It’s a commonly accepted fact that each and every one of us must work together to help reverse the damage that we have done to the environment, atmosphere and climate. However, as the UK gears itself up for its green future, attention is turning to the large, carbon-heavy industries, that produce nearly one-fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions, to do more to slash their carbon output. In the year 2020, the business and industries sector produced 18.25 of the UK’s carbon emissions, a figure down by 8.7% compared to the year before, although this decrease is thought to be due to Covid-19 and not down to policy change.

UK Industry

Earlier this year, the UK government announced that it plans to invest £1.4 into the industrial sector to jump-start its “Green Industrial Revolution”. Today, we’re going to take a look at what actions the industrial sector could take to help to shrink its carbon footprint.

It is widely known that industries are notoriously specific so unfortunately there are not many universal rules on what they should do. For example, a piece of simple advice in a domestic situation could be something like “switch off your lights” or “use less water” but that is because every UK home will typically have similar attributes and demands such as a standard wattage for your homes electricity or a similar heat demand for the home’s heating compared to a factory.

However, if you put two industrial processes together, for example, a tuna cannery and a ball bearing factory, they will both have completely different processes and therefore different energy, materials, water and fuel requirements. This begs the question, what can industries do to reduce their carbon footprint?

What can UK industries do?

One of the most effective ways that can help reduce industrial emissions is if companies fully integrate recycling into the production cycle. If a brewery can bottle its beer in purely recycled bottles then it removes a large percentage of its carbon footprint. Recycling can help to reduce the emissions of almost every industry.

Another idea that we think should be included is the adoption of substituting materials for natural alternatives such as wooden cutlery and bamboo toothbrushes. Cutting out as much plastic as possible will dramatically improve our emissions and lessen our impact on natural habitats through littering. Another big step forward would be to stop using single-use plastics. By removing single-use plastics from the manufacturing process and encouraging the adoption of reusable packaging materials. This would also alleviate a lot of environmental damage caused by discarded single-use plastics such as can holders, bags and straws.

What is clear is that every part of society must step up and play its part, no matter how big or small. No sector can be left to its own devices to damage our planet even if it relies heavily on fossil fuels and a carbon-heavy process.

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