In the Media

Understanding net-zero manufacturing

Published on:
June 4, 2021

Smart Industry speaks to Humera Malik about what, exactly, net-zero means and how it can boost your revenue.

Smart Industry: Define "net zero" in the manufacturing space and explain why this is an increasingly important goal. 

Humera: Net-zero speaks to the goal of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced, in order to combat climate change. In the manufacturing sector, this principle needs to be addressed across operations from design, sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. Net-zero has increasingly become important today because, in order to meet the 2050 Paris Climate Agreement goals, manufacturers need to make significant progress within the next 10 years. This urgency has been recognized not just from a regulatory front, but customers and shareholders alike want to see more action now.

Smart Industry: What are a few key elements of a net-zero strategy in the manufacturing space? 

Humera: At a high level, the pathway to net-zero in industrial operations can be broken down into three key stages. The first is process and asset optimization. It’s estimated that through optimization, up to 20% of greenhouse gas emissions can be saved with little or no capital investment required. This is the low-hanging fruit that manufacturers can tackle today. The following stages involve transitioning to alternative energy sources and implementing carbon capture, use, and sequestration, and later investing in new technologies such as hydrogen-based production. However, these come with significant costs and are still relatively in the infancy stage, in terms of being ready to scale across heavy industry.

Smart Industry: How can a net-zero mindset boost revenue? 

Humera: At the heart of net-zero initiatives is reducing waste. For example, by optimizing a process cycle time, manufacturers are then reducing how much energy or raw materials are consumed during the process. This lowers operating costs and contributes to boosting revenue. Another area is being able to control processes to reduce the number of defective products. By doing so, this increases the volume of product that is delivered to customers instead of ending up in the landfill.

Watch the on-demand webinar: “Accelerate your Race to Net-Zero” to learn more.

Smart Industry speaks to Humera Malik about what, exactly, net-zero means and how it can boost your revenue.

Smart Industry: Define "net zero" in the manufacturing space and explain why this is an increasingly important goal. 

Humera: Net-zero speaks to the goal of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced, in order to combat climate change. In the manufacturing sector, this principle needs to be addressed across operations from design, sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. Net-zero has increasingly become important today because, in order to meet the 2050 Paris Climate Agreement goals, manufacturers need to make significant progress within the next 10 years. This urgency has been recognized not just from a regulatory front, but customers and shareholders alike want to see more action now.

Smart Industry: What are a few key elements of a net-zero strategy in the manufacturing space? 

Humera: At a high level, the pathway to net-zero in industrial operations can be broken down into three key stages. The first is process and asset optimization. It’s estimated that through optimization, up to 20% of greenhouse gas emissions can be saved with little or no capital investment required. This is the low-hanging fruit that manufacturers can tackle today. The following stages involve transitioning to alternative energy sources and implementing carbon capture, use, and sequestration, and later investing in new technologies such as hydrogen-based production. However, these come with significant costs and are still relatively in the infancy stage, in terms of being ready to scale across heavy industry.

Smart Industry: How can a net-zero mindset boost revenue? 

Humera: At the heart of net-zero initiatives is reducing waste. For example, by optimizing a process cycle time, manufacturers are then reducing how much energy or raw materials are consumed during the process. This lowers operating costs and contributes to boosting revenue. Another area is being able to control processes to reduce the number of defective products. By doing so, this increases the volume of product that is delivered to customers instead of ending up in the landfill.

Watch the on-demand webinar: “Accelerate your Race to Net-Zero” to learn more.