Steel workers placing sheet of steel in large brake press

SMEs supported by the North West technology adoption programme are finding economic and environmental success

Trafford manufacturers are being offered a free guide to help them take their first steps in reducing carbon emissions and become more sustainable. 

The downloadable document from Made Smarter, the North West technology adoption programme, aims to show SMEs how technology can save pounds and the planet.


Made Smarter has been offering free and impartial advice to businesses across the region for the last two years.

With support these manufacturing and engineering companies are investing in new machinery and digital tools to make their buildings, equipment, manufacturing and transport processes more efficient, use less energy, and produce less waste. 

Additionally, some manufacturers are supplementing this with measures like switching to LED lighting in their factories to slash electricity bills; and investing in renewable energy sources and biomass boilers to power their plants.

As a result, manufacturers are reducing costs, boosting profit margins, and increasing competitiveness, helping them navigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, and paving a path to recovery and growth with a new resilience. 

These include, a clothing manufacturer building a new state-of- the-art factory combining renewable energy sources and full digitalisation where a central IT system drives and measures smart machinery, linking production through to its customers and supply chain. The ambition is to quadruple production capacity, increase productivity by 30%, and reduce waste by 20%.

There’s also an eco-friendly plastics manufacturer using robotics and process control technology to increase productivity by at least 25% and improve quality control, reliability and repeatability when moulding components, reducing the number of rejects and waste.

Finally, a manufacturer of bespoke vinyl wrapped furniture components is on target to be carbon neutral by 2022 thanks to Made Smarter support with its digital transformation.

The 187 technology projects supported by Made Smarter are forecast to deliver an additional £147.8M in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years.

The drive towards a more sustainable approach to manufacturing is reducing the businesses’ carbon footprint and impact on the environment, helping the UK achieve its ambitious net zero target by 2050.

Donna Edwards

Donna Edwards, North West Adoption Programme Director at Made Smarter, said: “Climate change can no longer be ignored. The manufacturing industry, together with the transport and storage industries, produce 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gases.

“Manufacturers are facing pressure to become more sustainable from their own employees, customers, the government, investors, and wider communities. 

“Technology has played an incredibly important part in enabling businesses to navigate the pandemic and recover. There is no doubt that digital tools are also key to addressing the challenge of decarbonisation and help the UK achieve its net-zero aim.

“Digitalisation offers a huge opportunity for manufacturers to deliver operational efficiencies, decarbonise heat and power, optimise design and materials, and improve logistics and transport, benefitting their business, their bottom line and the environment.

“It is encouraging that so many Made Smarter supported manufacturers have started this journey and found the sustainability sweet spot between these economic, social, and environmental goals.”

To download the free guide visit:

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