More businesses are taking seriously the need for reducing their carbon footprint for both socially conscious and financial reasons. The future and sustainability of manufacturing relies upon our ability and willingness to make decisions that reduce unnecessary waste, limit excess shipping distance and consider more than just the short term bottom line every time. In this post we will explain how one huge manufacturing decision can have an even bigger impact on your carbon footprint; the decision to manufacture in the UK.
Why do people manufacture abroad?
People make the assumption that manufacturing abroad is cheaper. They look only at the initial costs when making a decision. You only have to look at the back of your household products and you will struggle to find anything ‘Made in Britain.’ This leads to a misconception that the industry is dead here and when businesses are considering their manufacturing options, this misunderstanding informs their decision.
Of course in some cases it is true, manufacturing abroad can be cheaper. The main reason for this is the cost of labour and the UK will never be able to compete with markets such as China and Taiwan on this. The problem is that labour costs are not the only factor in determining the overall cost and this is what people don’t initially see.
Manufacturing abroad works out cheaper if you are producing a very high volume of products. The big name brands you have in your house are mass manufactured and so the factories in foreign lands can afford to offer good deals to big businesses. The cost and time it takes to ship these products are offset by the savings made on each unit.
Here is the thing most people don’t realise; small businesses don’t manufacture in significant high volumes to see these savings. It is therefore NOT cheaper to manufacture abroad.
The bigger cost
When you manufacture abroad you don’t have the same level of access and control in comparison with what you would have in the UK. In reality this means that the final product might not match your brief and then more time, money and resources is spent putting it right, making your carbon footprint bigger and your bank balance smaller.
The shipping time from countries like China can take more than two weeks and obviously has to travel a great distance. From a financial perspective time is money but additionally there is the excessive carbon emissions released through this process.
When you outsource your manufacturing to another country you are effectively outsourcing your emissions too. Although in practice this doesn’t contribute to the UK climate change targets, simply moving the process somewhere else does not make them disappear. The government have been looking at the consumption based emissions in the UK which would take this into account.
Grow a business for future generations
Think about the vision for your company long term, what you want to achieve and how you want your business to grow? If you want your business to still be making an impact for future generations then you need to consider how you are contributing to a world that is sustainable. We all have a role to play, no matter how big or small our business seem, every decision we make has an impact.
You can decide to introduce meat free mondays, to become paperless, to use energy saving light bulbs, to limit single use plastic or turn off all computers at the end of the day. All these actions count but so does where you choose to manufacture.
Here at Nexus, we manufacture your technical innovative products right here in the UK, we specialise in high tech bespoke products that require complex manufacturing procedures. Rather than taking this abroad, losing control, spending more money and increasing your carbon footprint, come and visit us and see for yourself how Nexus can be trusted to make it happen. Saving you time, money and carbon emissions.