Manufacturing plays a vital role in creating a truly sustainable world by 2050

Seven years ago, Professor Steve Evans helped to write a major report for Whitehall on the future of British manufacturing and sustainability. In the wake of COVID-19, he looks back on the predictions and what the future looks like today for policy makers and executives.

In 2013, I was part of a team that wrote a report for the UK government on the future of UK manufacturing, making predictions on what a more sustainable future manufacturing sector would look like.

The objective was to look forward to 2050 and inform how the UK could create and capture future value.

The disruptions of the past six months due to COVID-19 have driven more focus on this, even among policy makers who may have been inclined in the past to dismiss manufacturing’s contribution to the economy.

But as much as a specific global pandemic was unexpected, significant disruption was not, and the view from 2013 remains strikingly relevant as governments and firms look to steer manufacturing through the post-pandemic world.