Home / Critical Equipment / Report finds lack of support for UK hi-tech manufacturers in achieving net zero

Report finds lack of support for UK hi-tech manufacturers in achieving net zero

New findings on critical plant and equipment data usage within the UK’s hi-tech manufacturing industries have revealed slower-than-expected progress toward achieving sustainability and net zero carbon reduction goals.

According to The Energy Blind Spots, a new report from building analytics specialist CIM that surveyed facilities managers at life sciences and micro-electronics manufacturers, only 35 per cent of FMs believe HVAC costs are a priority for the C-Suite. Yet with HVAC often constituting up to 45 per cent of energy consumption at these sites, analysing consumption should represent a significant opportunity to hit decarbonisation targets and reduce costs.

Despite this, only 30 per cent of those surveyed admitted to continuously monitoring CO2 emissions, though 63 per cent of respondents’ sites being certified to the ISO 50001 standard for energy management. Furthermore, 62 per cent of FMs surveyed believed they are deficient in day-to-day collection and analysis of building data and 40 per cent were still undertaking maintenance on a reactive rather than proactive footing.

Paul Walsh, General Manager at CIM, commented: “We wanted to look into pressing issues in hi-tech manufacturing at what is a critical time for the industry, and our findings have been eye-opening, to say the least. This research clearly demonstrates that further action is required to alleviate pressure on facilities management teams, and further support is needed from senior stakeholders to drive efforts to improve plant sustainability and energy efficiency as we move towards net zero.

“Additionally, with 87 per cent of survey respondents identifying CAPEX constraints as a major barrier to improving energy performance, steps must be taken to make OPEX savings that could help alleviate these concerns. Specifically, facilities managers are under pressure to reduce energy usage and increase sustainability at a time of shrinking budgets, while also struggling to collect, analyse and respond to plant data available to them. Yet by not making best use of their building data, they are prevented from making the OPEX savings that could help alleviate sustainability and CAPEX concerns.”

The report’s findings also highlighted that FMs are experiencing an average of 12.5 BMS alarms per day, with 50 per cent suggesting they received as many as 30 in the same time period. More worryingly, a quarter of those interviewed said that 40 per cent of alarms were not actioned, demonstrating strong evidence of ‘alarm fatigue’.

Walsh added: “The fact that a sizable sample of the facilities managers we surveyed said BMS alarms are effectively being ignored shows how teams are caught in a cycle of day-to-day firefighting. The sheer volume of alarms demonstrates how a smarter approach to data is needed to provide an effective plant maintenance approach, prevent ‘alarm fatigue’ and ensure energy use is optimised in accordance with current industry pressures.

“Yet it cannot be denied that plants and buildings generate huge amounts of data, and this report highlights the difficulties of using this data to prioritise day-to-day pressures, including managing alarms and addressing high energy consumption. There is therefore clearly a need for innovative platforms that can ingest data and raise actionable insights to reduce emissions and OPEX costs.”

Waste Management and Recycling Survey

FMJ in conjunction with Grundon Waste Management have launched the 2022 survey into how FMs approach their waste management and recycling responsibilities.

It’s the fifth year for the annual appraisal, and as we return to normal, there is a real opportunity for FMs to reappraise their waste and recycling operations and look at new, smarter waste management strategies.

In order to understand how FMs have navigated their way through the last year and their plans for meeting stringent waste and recycling targets we’ve posed a series of questions which include insights into FMs’ waste management strategy and targets, such as zero waste and landfill, the types of waste organisations produce and what helps FMs promote waste management in their organisations?

Please share your experiences and opinions on waste management. The survey will take just five minutes to complete, and as a thank you for taking part, respondents will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 Amazon gift card.

To take part click here.

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