Step change for remanufacturing will reap sustainability rewards
Leading experts from industry and academia have called for greater support for the UK's remanufacturing industry.
According to a new joint report from the Carbon Trust, Knowledge Transfer Network, High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute, Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse, and Coventry University, remanufacturing currently contributes around £2.4 billion to the British economy. However, with appropriate support this could be increased to £5.6 billion and create thousands of new skilled jobs.
Remanufacturing refers to manufacturing where parts or products at the end of their useful life are returned to like-new or better condition, with their quality supported by a warranty.
A number of countries around the world – including the USA, China, Japan and Germany – have established centres of excellence or have strong policies specifically to support the growth of remanufacturing. However no equivalent framework of support exists across the UK, which is the issue the coalition behind the new report are seeking to address.
Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, Associate Director at the Carbon Trust, said: “High value manufacturing is a real area of strength for the UK economy. It is also the area where the business case for remanufacturing is strongest. There are a number of opportunities for growth in British remanufacturing, particularly in sectors such as automotive, defence, aerospace, medical equipment, and electronics.
“Supporting remanufacturing and closed-loop resource use should be a no brainer. Incorporating remanufacturing into business models and products not only provides economic and environmental benefits, it can also create new opportunities for business growth and employment. ”
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