SEPA Signs SGA with Nestlé UK and Ireland
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has signed the Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with Nestlé UK and Ireland, in a bid to support businesses to move beyond compliance with Scotland’s environmental law.
The agreement will cover three main areas:
- Developing circular economy opportunities in food production, food waste and packaging within Scotland for Nestlé UK & Ireland value chains
- Exploring a fresh approach to maximising local environmental, social and economic benefit in the South of Scotland, built around the Landscape Enterprise Netwerk (LENs) concept
- Developing resources that will enable businesses in the agri-food arena to understand their environmental obligations and landscape dependencies
“This is one of a series of such agreements that the Scottish regulator has struck in recent years - with existing partnerships including the Leven Programme Partnership and the 2050 Climate Group.”
“Nestlé is a key player in the food and drinks sector in Scotland. Around 50 dairy farms in South West Scotland supply milk to its Girvan factory, which, in turn, supplies milk crumb for Nestlé factories in York, Fawdon and Halifax, where KitKat, Aero, Rolo, Quality Street and Yorkie are manufactured.”
The partnership is inherently designed to identify and overcome challenges that can deter the development of circular economy business models.
Terry A’hearn, SEPA’s CEO, had this to say about the future of SEPA: “To put it bluntly, business as usual won’t tackle the scale and urgency of the climate crisis that humanity faces and SEPA wants to form bold and surprising new partnerships to support the future sustainability of industrial activities across Scotland and drive our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This collaborative drive to give the future of the world a much greener outlook serves, if nothing else, to at least help businesses, form easier relations with these eco-centric strategies, meeting standards easier, and thus incorporating them amongst various business models. SEPA’s Regulatory Strategy, One Planet Prosperity, “is a visionary blueprint for tackling the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”
IHS Markit/CIPS: UK Manufacturing PMI near-record high
UK manufacturing trends
For the UK manufacturing sector, growth of output and new orders were both reported by IHS Markit and CIPS as among the best seen over the past seven years, which in turn has led to a strong increase in employment. Despite this, the sector continues to face supply chain delays and input shortages, which resulted in increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation.
UK Manufacturing IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®)
Seasonally adjusted, IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) rose to 60.9 in April, which was an increase compared to March (58.9) and above the estimated 60.7 for April.
Increasing for the eleventh consecutive month, the latest readings are the highest since July 1994 (61.0). The output growth for April has been attributed to the loosening of lockdown restrictions, improving demands and a rise in backlogged work.
“The manufacturing sector was flooded with optimism in April as the PMI rose to its highest level since July 1994, bolstered by strong levels of new orders and the end of lockdown restrictions opened the gates to business. It was primarily the home market that fuelled this upsurge in activity though more work from the US, Europe and China demonstrated there were also improvements in the global economy. This boom largely benefited corporates as output growth at small-scale producers continued to lag behind,” said Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
In addition to expanding production, total new orders rose for its third consecutive month, which was attributed to a revival of domestic market conditions, stronger client confidence, parts of the economy reopening and improving global market conditions.
While new exports rose in April, the rate was reported as weaker in comparison to new orders. “Companies reported improved new work intakes from several trading partners, including mainland Europe, the US, China and South-East Asia. Large-sized manufacturers saw a substantial expansion in new export order intakes, compared to only a marginal rise at small-sized firms,” said IHS Markit/CIPS.
UK Manufacturing’s outlook
Remaining positive at the start of the second quarter, 66% of companies forecast that output will be higher in a year's time, which is attributed to expectations for less disruption related to COVID-19 and Brexit, economic recovery, improved client confidence and new product launches.
“Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories. The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high, as output and new orders expanded at increased rates. The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time. Export growth remains relatively subdued, however, as small manufacturers struggle to export,” said Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit.
Adding to comments from IHS Markit and CIPS, , Managing Director of Freight and Logistics at Accenture Global said: “While today’s figures are positive overall, the worsening supply situation is still a concern, with rates of both input costs and selling price inflation running far above anything previously seen. Shipping delays and material shortages are driving huge backlogs of uncompleted work and the surge in manufacturing orders is leading to many firms struggling to boost operating capacity to keep up with demand. With business expectations becoming even more optimistic as the economy rebounds, the big question will be whether firms will be able to cope with the surging inflows of new orders.
“As ongoing supply chain issues are still at large, companies with wide international footprints should look to reassess their logistics strategies by running supply chain stress tests and simulations in order to respond quickly to upswings and variability in demand. A flexible and resilient supply chain will be a key way for businesses to remain both competitive and stable as we emerge from the pandemic”