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Sustainability Snapshot #22

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Lumenstream is committed to helping the world say yes to a sustainable future. That’s why, biweekly, we like to share the positive steps other businesses and countries are taking to have less of a footprint on the planet.

We think that’s news worth spreading.

Luckily, a lot of people are fighting the good fight so there’s never a lack of stories to cover.

This week we focus on two reports published just days apart both advocating for investment in green industry processes in the UK.


Invest in Green Factories to Save UK Industrial Jobs

UK Onward has published a report online in the last week advocating investment in green factories as part of ‘levelling up’ in order to save industrial jobs in the UK.

The report from the think tank hopes to avoid losing domestic producers to the EU, the USA and Asia. In fact, they already believe we are ‘slipping behind’. They state the government has 5 years to secure proper investment in our factories.

Ed Burkett, Alex Luke, and Phoebe Bunt, who wrote the report, all recognise that making changes to industrial processes will bring both disruption and opportunity. Many factories may not be able to adapt and will risk closure if the appropriate support is not put in place. However, many will be able to invest in new low-carbon technologies and train an evolving workforce. The benefits from opportunity will far outweigh the disruption.

There are 5 recommendations put forward for policy makers to take into account:

  1. Targeted tax breaks for green factory investors
  2. Cheaper energy costs for heavy industries
  3. Securing demand for UK-based manufactured products by changing rules in renewable energy competitions
  4. Cash incentives for battery “gigafactories”
  5. Introducing a carbon border tax and banning imports of the highest-carbon products

Ed Birkett stated, “The green industrial revolution is a big risk for UK factories that make cars and steel, and for workers in the UK’s oil and gas industry. The Government must work night and day to secure the green factories of the future, or there’s a risk that we’ll lose industrial jobs forever. We need to make the UK an attractive place to invest in green factories. This means cheaper energy, lower business rates, cash incentives, a carbon border tax to stop offshoring, and more.”

Green Powered Factory

Support Demand for Low Carbon Products; Disincentivise High Carbon Products

Aldersgate Group with Frontier Economics have also published a report online with a focus on implementing mandatory product standards aimed at being low carbon.

Industrial emissions represent 16% of the UK’s total emissions. Therefore, decarbonising our industries is of vital importance to reaching our overall Net Zero goals. But industries need support.

Echoing the previous report, the magnitude of the consequences without action are huge- inaction means losing UK businesses. And jobs. Heavy industry and manufacturing employed 2.7million people this year, with most being outside of London and the South East of England. Meaning again, ‘levelling up’ throughout all of the UK is in jeopardy.

Comprehensively, the report seeks industry views from stakeholders. As such, 9 recommendations were put forward for policy makers. All of which pertain to the setting of mandatory product standards. The aim is to incentivise the demand for low carbon products with their whole life-cycle taken into account.

Above all, decarbonisation experts found that cost and quality still trump low carbon products for consumers and businesses. Voluntary choice for low carbon products is not enough until they are of the same quality and price (if not lower). As a result, only mandatory standards will suffice in the decarbonisation of industry in the UK.


It would seem abundantly clear from these reports that investment in green industry in the UK is vital to Industrial Britain’s survival. Not only will it save jobs, but it will have a positive knock-on effect to all sectors that use the industrial products made here like glass and steel. There is only one way forward for the UK and that is a sustainable economics approach.


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