Made Smarter has launched a whitepaper to help SME manufacturers across the North West accelerate their Net Zero plans.

The free-to-download document from the government-backed initiative, named Decarbonisation through Digitalisation: manufacturing made smarter and greener with technology, aims to simplify the fast-evolving topic and analyse the latest research.

It also offers insights into new technologies, outlining how they enable manufacturing and engineering businesses to make things smarter and greener, while powering growth and creating highly skilled jobs.

A number of businesses, who have started their decarbonisation journeys, are highlighted in the document, including Crystal Doors In Rochdale, Fylde Fresh and Fabulous in Preston and The Cumbria Clock Company in Penrith.

Donna Edwards, director of Made Smarter's North West Adoption Programme, said:

"Manufacturing is vital to the UK economy and our daily lives. But it also has a colossal impact on our environment.

"The pressure and scrutiny on the sector to be more sustainable is ramping up, and coming from all directions. It is our biggest challenge, but it is also a significant opportunity."

Edwards added:

"In recent years we've seen technology play an incredibly important part in tackling disruptive and emerging challenges. It has helped businesses navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and recover, negotiate supply chain disruption and labour shortages, as well as focus on solutions to mitigate the energy crisis.

"For the climate emergency, digitalisation offers manufacturers a huge opportunity to deliver operational efficiencies, decarbonise heat and power, optimise design and materials, and improve logistics and transport, benefitting their business, their bottom line and the environment. Then there is the reputational gain which helps secure customer loyalty, as well as attract new talent and investment.

"While decarbonisation might feel overwhelming, and it is by no means a simple task, it is vital manufacturers recognise they are not alone. Combating climate change demands collaboration, and that is exactly what Made Smarter is here for."