IFS launches global manufacturing study on sustainability and the circular economy

Image Credit: www.ifs.com
Media Release by IFS

Survey highlights reactive mindset and legacy infrastructure as barriers to sustainability and underlines manufacturers’ strong focus on the circular economy both in the US and Europe

IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, today announced it has conducted a research study with technology analyst, Omdia, to better understand the views of manufacturing companies worldwide around sustainability and the circular economy.  The survey polled a wide range of respondents working for manufacturers across North America and Europe (all employed at director, or C Level, and above).

The survey is timely given the current acceleration in climate change and the need to curb the impact of manufacturing on the environment through cutting emissions and reducing industrial energy consumption. The disruption of the pandemic acted as a catalyst for enhanced sustainability but external pressures such as customer awareness and regulatory pressure are pushing it up the priority list.

The research covers three key areas, each of which impacts manufacturers’ approach to sustainability. The first covers investment drivers, such as environmental responsibility and barriers like legacy infrastructure. The second considers sustainability implementation status, including key areas where companies are currently focusing their sustainability initiatives and level of sustainability maturity; and the third assesses the case for the circular economy, encompassing its key benefits.

Key findings include:

  • Top drivers of sustainability initiatives in organisations are regulatory compliance (ranked number one by 18%); business risk (15%); and financial incentives and tax reductions (15%), revealing a reactive mindset among manufacturers
  • The most important barriers to investment in sustainability are organisational barriers/no centralised responsibility (21%); legacy assets and infrastructure (18%) and upfront cost (17%)
  • In terms of implementation status, 43% of respondents said they had implemented waste and water treatment processes; 40% referenced tracking/reducing carbon emissions across supply chain operations and 38% tracking/reducing carbon emissions for internal operations
  • The circular economy is growing in focus among manufacturers, with 12% saying it is a corporate focus and already deployed and a further 80% either in the process of piloting circular economy initiatives; having finalised circular economy objectives and in the process of deploying them, or in the process of developing objectives around circular economy
  • Progress on circular economy is stronger in North America, (where 18% say it is a corporate focus and already deployed) than it is in Europe (7%)
  • The most significant benefits a circular economy model will deliver for an organisation are seen as: support sustainable strategy (with 78% ranking it in their top five); increase customer engagement (74%) and improve environmental protection (74%)
  • Improving environmental performance through input reduction and waste elimination across the supply chain is at the core of circular economy for 45% of respondents
  • Most mature industries for the circular economy include chemicals, where more than one in five (21%) have already deployed it, and food and beverage (17%)

For more information, please download the IFS eBook on this sustainability research, where the  survey data is explored in greater detail.

image Credit: https://www.ifs.com