Manufacture 2030 revolutionising how brands approach sustainability

Martin Chilcott, CEO, 2degrees

Let’s start by being bold. At 2degrees, we’re aiming to drive a global revolution in sustainable supply chains and manufacturing. The ambition. Nothing less than to improve the efficiency of participating companies and factories so radically that over a 10-year period, they could halve the resources (energy, water, raw materials and parts) needed to manufacture their products; and in doing so boost their competitiveness and dramatically reduce their environmental impacts.

The business case for creating sustainable value has never been stronger. 35 CEOs as part of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission put a global figure on it, saying that meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is worth at least US$12tn to the world economy. In manufacturing specifically, non-energy intensive industries (F&D, pharma, FMCG) alone could make annual operational energy efficiency gains of $315bn.

Sustainable manufacturing is a big prize, and one that comes with benefits beyond just cost and impact reductions: improved security of supply, greater levels of trust and cooperation along the supply chain, reputational benefits and enhanced innovation.

As Prof. Steve Evans’ work at the University of Cambridge has highlighted, 50% of manufacturing costs are associated with resources like parts, material, energy, water and waste. However, we are only seeing, on average, a 1% efficiency improvement here per annum. If the average UK factory was to match best in class, improving resource efficiency year on year by around 8%, we could more than halve resource use by 2030.

There is clearly a huge untapped opportunity in resource efficiency. But the truth is, it’s just not happening at any great pace or scale, and there are some significant barriers to achieving it. Depending on whether you are a customer, at the top of a supply chain, or the supplier within it, the challenges look slightly different.

For the customer, retailer or major brand, the opportunity is difficult to seize because as much as 80% plus sits outside their direct operations and control, and in their supply chain.

The sheer size and complexity of modern supply chains, the number of companies involved and their relationships with other customers make it almost impossible, and certainly unaffordable, for them to address the opportunity through traditional approaches (conferences, emails, consultants).

For the supplier, the challenge is one of competing priorities and risk.

The opportunity from sustainable manufacturing consists of hundreds, if not thousands, of small actions, each of relatively low value, distributed across their factory.

The new global platform Manufacture 2030, launched by 2degrees in March 2017, is turning these problems on their head.

Instead of being the problem, the scale has become the answer, as the collaborative technologies on the Manufacture 2030 platform enable the collective experience of tens of thousands of operational managers from different industries and supply chains to be easily shared and applied to solving the problems of any individual factory.

Our experience shows that by enabling effective, large engagement, Manufacture 2030 will also significantly improve trust and general communications up and down supply chains, creating the foundation and opportunity for addressing social and ethical challenges such as Modern Slavery as well.

With the launch of Manufacture 2030 we have an opportunity to turn the problem of scale into our strength; to make it easy to leverage the collective intelligence of our global manufacturing supply chains; to unlock the insight and experience needed to radically improve resource efficiency and make it possible for participating factories to cut the amount of energy, water, and materials they use in half, over 10 years.

The opportunity exists; the barriers are scale and complexity, but in Manufacture 2030 we now have the platform, the tools and the processes to seize it.

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