Industry

Our projects aim to support strategic change for our industrial partners. We are looking for opportunities to reduce the environmental impact or production, by adding more value to less material within industrial sectors.

Today’s system of production evolved assuming that energy was abundant and without unwanted consequences, so it’s not surprising that industry now contributes so much to global emissions. In preparing for a low emissions future, we need an industrial system that uses less energy, and because of the dominance of the bulk materials in driving industrial energy use, that means that we need to use less material.

Our industrial partners understand the need to respond to climate change, but also recognise the constraints of current commercial practices.  We’re therefore working with them at the strategic level: what would a low emitting future look like? Where are the new opportunities to add more value in a low carbon future? Who needs to talk to whom to bring about change?

Our work presents scenarios of low carbon futures, to provide a basis for dialogue about transition. Businesses moving too rapidly will lose value, if they change ahead of customer preferences, but those ignoring change will fail to prepare for the low carbon future we must find. Policy discussion about low carbon futures must embrace the energy intensive bulk materials industries, and needs a new dialogue about nurturing and extending material value in future. From our university base, we offer a safe space for exploring strategic options to make a step change in industrial emissions, while delivering value in new ways. We facilitate discussions about commercially viable futures, based on fundamental changes of approach and practical solutions.

We have a track record of collaborations with industry which have delivered positive results, both in their environmental impact, and to the industry in question.

Sectors

Aluminium Our group is developing strategies for making manufacturing process of aluminium more efficient, as well as considering social and policy changes which can affect industry, product lifetime and purchasing choices.
Automotive The group is investigating ways in which the automotive sector can improve the material efficiency of car manufacture, as well as other methods of reducing emissions including shared use. Evolving regulations, mainly driven by the European Union are challenging the automotive sector to reduce the operational greenhouse gas emissions of its cars
Bioenergy There is a complex network of different potential bioenergy pathways that serve the full range of energy services: electricity, heat and transport.
Construction We are developing strategies for more effective use of the main materials used in construction. Rationalisation, time constraints and general design practices all lead to buildings that are heavier than necessary, with little improvement in the safety of their users.
Steel Steel is one of the most used materials on Earth: buildings, infrastructure, cars, lorries, ships, machines, and many other goods are made of steel and human activities depend on their services. Unfortunately, steel-making is one of the most energy and carbon intensive industrial processes, accounting for 25% of global industrial emissions,