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
"Our primary focus for implementing change today is to build new connections between currently separate operations, to reduce material waste and to deliver more valuable and longer lasting products."
Whether due to the harmful effects of climate change or the positive actions of mitigation, industrial activities will change significantly during the 21st Century, and by the end of the century we will be making much less material. At first sight, it seems implausible that any production company would take seriously the suggestion that they should make less. However, as we’ve developed our work with an expanding consortium of industrial partners, we’ve found a growing interest in exploring the strategic opportunity created by the need to make less: industries such as the steel industry are suffering from so much global over-capacity with largely undifferentiated products that they need to find out how to make more value from less material or they won’t survive; in the search for a future with less material production, the first adopters of new approaches to nurturing material value will have a competitive advantage; within construction and manufacturing sectors we meet a growing number of people aware of the waste involved in their current products and production who are personally excited about the possibility of “doing things better” just for its own sake.
Our work with industry partners has to seek a balance between what is commercially possible today and where we are heading in future, and much of it is therefore concerned with the development of strategy within the surrounding context of national industrial policy. However, today’s fragmented supply chains in construction and manufacturing miss many opportunities for reducing waste or capturing greater value that can only be identified by taking a more integrated view. Accordingly, our primary focus for implementing change today is to build new connections between currently separate operations, to reduce material waste and to deliver more valuable and longer lasting products.
We currently have our closest relationships with the steel, construction and automotive sectors but are active more broadly and aim to expand our reach to all major applications of the bulk materials. In summary, our work with industrial partners has shown that: