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We are on the cusp of a manufacturing revolution1 focused on non-labour resource productivity, which includes energy efficiency, waste reduction, packaging optimisation, transport efficiency, circular resource use, and supply chain collaboration.

For example, today in the UK:

  • Remanufacturing is below 2% for most non-perishable/non-consumable products2
  • 27% of freight truck journeys are running empty3
  • Despite the logical benefits of optimising along the supply chain, few UK manufacturers have been engaging in collaborative discussions with their suppliers
  • Many companies have achieved 10 to 15% efficiency gains over the last decade, however leading companies have achieved over 50% improvements in the same timeframe4.

Addressing non-labour resource productivity offers substantial benefits for the UK manufacturing sector and broader economy and environment, as illustrated in the tri-benefit diagram below – the result of a rigorous 12 month NMR study examining the untapped potential:
Tri-benefit graphThe study also found that all manufacturing companies can benefit; the benchmark database developed for this study revealed significant variation in non-labour resource performance between companies within each manufacturing sub-sector. Even pioneering companies leading in one or several areas were found to perform inconsistently across the topics and areas of opportunity examined.

See what Nestle, Toyota, Coca Cola Enterprises, Caterpillar, Prof Steve Evans, Minister Gregory Barker, Barry Sheerman MP, and 2degrees all think about the Next Manufacturing Revolution in this highlights video of our report and programme launch:

The Next Manufacturing Revolution is a not-for-profit collaboration founded by Lavery Pennell, 2degrees, and the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing to accelerate the transition to a more resource efficient manufacturing sector, using the UK as a test case.

The Next Manufacturing Revolution programme of action includes:

  • A landmark report quantifying the size of the opportunity through reference to UK sub-sector performance and international best practices, identifying how pioneering companies have outperformed their competitors, examining the barriers preventing wider uptake, and presenting a plan to address these barriers. You can download the report here.
  • The NMR Community, which provides in-depth information, tools, research and interactive information exchange forums, openly accessible to all. This website and the 2degrees platform form the hub of this community. You can subscribe on the right hand side of this page to stay abreast of developments or signup at www.2degreesnetwork.com to become an active member of the community.
  • A Barriers Resolution and Rollout plan, working collaboratively with experts and manufacturers to overcome industry obstacles that currently prevent the improvement of non –labour resource productivity. You can learn more about this here.
  • Tailored Support for established manufacturers to identify improvement opportunities in non-labour resource and build the internal business case to capture them. More information on this is here.

This Next Manufacturing Revolution programme will help manufacturing companies realise greater profits, employment and sustainability.  Wider benefits from the programme, such as indirect jobs, environmental improvements, greater tax revenues and reduced spending on energy, transport and waste infrastructure, will also accrue to communities.

We welcome the collaboration of others; if you are interested please click here to learn how you could participate.


1 The drivers of the manufacturing revolution are discussed here.
2 Details are contained in the Circular Resource Use chapter of the NMR full report.
3 For details and references, refer to the Transport Efficiency chapter of the NMR full report.
4 Refer to the NMR full report for data.

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