Home2025: Manufacturing

Most consumers will never see the machine-driven equipment, process heaters and power generators that all contribute to giving us the products and services we use in our daily lives.

The hidden impacts behind our computers, bottled drinks, clothing or appliances are increasingly important to measure alongside the more traditional energy efficiency focus on product ‘use’. Because by creating goods such as plastics, textiles, food, computers, glass, steel, chemicals and cement, industry accounts for 31% of final energy consumption.

The practical benefits of rethinking a more energy efficient ‘make, use and dispose’ model of consumption is already being demonstrated by the ‘circular economy’ concept promoted by organizations such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and the ‘cradle-to-cradle’ product certification by William McDonough.

These approaches look at waste as a resource and an input to new systems, and by doing so build economic value around each stage in the lifecycle of a product. While some of these concepts are being adopted by markets already – circular economy thinking was incorporated into China’s 11th Five Year Plan (2005 to 2010) – much more must be done to see a real shift in how we produce and consume.

In this section of Home2025, we explore the transformation of manufacturing driven by new opportunities for consumers and business models.

Contributions to Home2025 are coming soon.


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