The manufacturing sector has been working hard to meet the net zero targets set for industry using a wide range of strategies; from implementing cleaner technologies to using sustainable materials in their products.

This drive has been fuelled in part by an acknowledged need to embrace greener practices within the manufacturing supply and production chain; and in part by the pressure of targets imposed by the government. So, Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the government are pushing back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 was a surprise and a blow to supporters of action to tackle climate change.

Here at Interflex, irrespective of government targets, we have long been committed to making the transition to a greener supply chain, developing materials such as Ocean for automotive, construction and rail projects specifically with sustainability in mind.

Putting cutting edge design at the forefront of net zero

The development and use of efficient recycled and recyclable materials is a key part of achieving net zero in manufacturing. Ultimately, creating a greener automotive industry starts with the design of products and vehicles – and careful selection of the materials that are used to make them. That’s why the introduction of sustainable products like Ocean, made from 80% recycled materials, are so important.

The benefits aren’t just in the green credentials of the materials themselves; using a lightweight, high-performance material such as Ocean in vehicle or train carriage interiors and exteriors helps reduce weight, noise and make vehicles more fuel efficient. Ocean can also be used in a range of other applications, including construction to help ensure better insulation, efficiency and performance using recycled and recyclable materials.

Reducing the barriers to EV ownership

The government’s U turn has also reignited the debate around electric vehicles. While the mandate for 80 per cent of new vehicles to be electric by 2030 remains in place, the drive to increase ownership of EVs has been somewhat hindered by uncertainty around when and how post-Brexit tariffs will be imposed on EVs. However, in some good news for EV manufacturers, a deal to avoid or at least postpone these tariffs being levied is looking increasingly hopeful.

According to the I newspaper, Brussels has altered its stance on ‘rules of origin’, required under the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) signed by Boris Johnson, and is tabling a postponement of their introduction in response to concerns around the impact on EV prices. The Rules of Origin states that 55% of a vehicle’s value must be comprised of locally sourced components, meaning that EU parts in a British-built car would not  qualify. If 55% is not achieved, an import tariff of 10% would be applied. How much of this cost would be passed onto the buyer remains to be seen but it would almost certainly increase the price of an EV.

The role of EVs in achieving net zero

Christopher Knibb, Director of Policy at the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), commented: “….the transition to EVs is critical in helping to reduce emissions from petrol and diesel engines. With electricity demand set to increase by more than 70% by 2050, rather than letting deadlines slip, the government should be providing further support and incentives for EV uptake, including investment to upgrade the electricity grid, if they are serious about meeting their net-zero goals.”

Find out how Interflex can help build sustainability into your manufacturing process

To find out more about how Ocean could be the sustainable acoustic absorbent solution for your projects, please call us on 01494 861 494 or email us at