LV switchgear's role in building sustainable supply chains

LV switchgear's role in building sustainable supply chainsLV switchgear's role in building sustainable supply chains

March 13, 2024

Make UK research shows that half of manufacturers are making headway with sustainability programmes

Sustainability is an increasingly central consideration for organisations across various industries - including manufacturing.

Make UK’s report Manufacturing: Stepping Up To The Sustainability Challenge shows that half of manufacturers are making headway with their sustainability programmes.

It also shows that half are not.

Of those that have, 70% reported that they have benefited from a reduction in costs.

The demand for sustainable solutions in the manufacturing industry has led to a shift in the way companies approach their production processes.

This is especially true in terms of reducing carbon emissions and promoting energy efficiency.

This includes low voltage switchgear manufacturing, which is key in the power distribution and control systems of buildings of all sizes.

Michael Smith Switchgear  achieved carbon-neutral status in 2022 by implementing a host of sustainable development interventions.

These have had a positive impact on the environment, society, and the economy. 

Purpose of low voltage switchgear

Low voltage switchgear is a critical component in the efficient and reliable operation of power systems in public and commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and data centres.

Quality and safety are crucial aspects of manufacturing low voltage switchgear, as any deficiency in quality or safety can pose serious risks to electrical systems. 

Sustainability in manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing involves taking a holistic view of the production process.

This ensures that the entire supply chain is environmentally friendly and sustainable. 

Companies that adopt sustainable manufacturing practices can reduce their carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency, and achieve environmental goals while maintaining quality and profitability.

A Make UK report found that the businesses which were most successful in driving sustainability and environmental improvements and cost-savings adopted a boardroom to shop-floor approach.

This means promoting change, and ensuring they took the whole of the workforce with them on the sustainability journey. It’s an approach adopted by Michael Smith Switchgear over the last decade.

Sustainability and the electrical supply chain 

Key trends in the industry include an increased focus on renewable energy, digitalisation, and the adoption of new technology. 

To remain competitive, companies must adapt to these changes and adopt sustainable practices to remain relevant and meet customer demand. 

Sustainability initiatives can be integrated into procurement processes by working with suppliers who share the company's ethos and support its sustainable manufacturing objectives.

Why sustainable switchgear matters

The IEC recently released a report highlighting the role of sustainable switchgear in reducing energy consumption worldwide.

A case study by Schneider Electric showed that implementing sustainable manufacturing processes in its low voltage switchgear manufacturing resulted in a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Companies that adopt sustainable manufacturing practices also report benefits such as improved reputation, customer loyalty, and cost savings.

In 2023, Michael Smith Switchgear was named the global winner of Schneider Electric’s inaugural sustainability impact award

Tips and advice

For businesses new to sustainable switchgear, it can be challenging to know where to start. 

One of the most important steps is to work with a supplier or manufacturer who prioritises sustainability and has experience in producing environmentally friendly switchgear. 

Other practical suggestions include using renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind, to power industrial facilities and investing in technology, such as smart meters and sensors, to monitor energy consumption.

Positive Impact

The manufacturing industry is facing increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. 

Michael Smith Switchgear has demonstrated the benefits of sustainable development interventions. 

Sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have; it is an essential part of the manufacturing process and its supply chains. 

By adopting sustainable practices, businesses can benefit from reduced costs, improved efficiency, and lower carbon emissions while contributing to a more sustainable future.

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