48 PER CENT UK and Irish Industrial businesses want to be Net Zero in next 3 to 5 years

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  Posted by: electime      18th January 2022

  • 9 in 10 (88 per cent) believe digitisation can increase efficiency to reduce energy usage
  • 72 per cent UK and Irish industries believe quicker action needs to be taken to reduce carbon footprint

Per cent of UK and Irish industrial organisations have named reducing their carbon footprint as a priority, with 3 in 10 businesses (27 per cent) claiming it to be the top priority this year, according to new research from energy management company, Schneider Electric. This comes as climate change and sustainability becomes a key focus, as almost half (48 per cent) are aiming to have a carbon neutral business in the next 3 to 5 years.

While industry leaders are optimistic about reaching targets, it hasn’t been without challenges: more than a third found that the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases (GHG) in their business is from their own manufacturing (39 per cent), fuel combustion (32 per cent) and fleet vehicles (23 per cent). When identifying the causes, 4 in 10 industrial organisations (39 per cent) found the pandemic disrupted plans to become more sustainable. Additional barriers included additional costs (41 per cent), failure to find a trusted partner for sustainability (30 per cent) and lack of knowledge and expertise (29 per cent).

Despite the barriers, industry leaders have been eager to ensure they are turning climate ambitions into action. 95 per cent have an accurate view of their energy infrastructure and consumption, while a further 61 per cent constantly track their energy consumption through a monitoring system and 19 per cent have mapped their energy infrastructure within the last 12 months.

Bridging the gap to carbon neutral

While optimistic, industrial organisations are aware that there is a long road ahead to meeting climate targets. Even though 61 per cent believe they are on track to meet carbon reduction targets, a huge 72 per cent said they need to act more quickly to reduce their footprint. It’s clear that industry leaders will be focusing on sustainability and 72 per cent industry business leaders are confident they are investing enough to ensure they reach carbon reduction goals. With the groundwork in place, it’s time for industries to invest in the technology and tools to make net-zero a reality.

Technology will be a key enabler for a sustainable business, and 9 in 10 (88 per cent) agree digitising the business can increase efficiency to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions that they produce. Evidently, businesses believe that there is a link between technology and sustainability – it’s no wonder that they are focused on delivery quality service in technologies such as robotics, automation, and digitisation. After all, it’s these innovations that can shape the sustainability future.



Market leading innovation    (per cent) Advanced and established success (per cent) Average for the industry (per cent) Not a consideration (per cent)
Robotics 24 34 20 8
Automation 19 35 26 8
Digitisation 23 27 31 8
IT infrastructure 21 35 30 3
Analytics 26 25 28 10

Figure 1: UK & Ireland industrial organisations respondents – Using this scale, how advanced is your organisation in delivering operational efficiency improvements in the following areas?

Mark Yeeles, VP Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric UK and Ireland said: “The last year has been a catalyst of change for Industry. Sustainability has now penetrated every industry, and every c-suite in every business. Our research has demonstrated how businesses are turning their attention to reducing emissions, with investment in the right technologies as the means to meet the climate goals. The rapid adoption of digital technologies will enable industries to successfully improve business operations, boost productivity and spearhead a green recovery.


This research was conducted by 3Gem in September 2021 and sponsored by Schneider Electric. It surveyed 850 key business decision-makers from across the UK and Ireland, encompassing both business and consumer attitudes towards the race to net-zero sustainability targets.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.

Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.

We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.

We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.