Resource scarcity is affecting 91% of industrial businesses worldwide: Report

A new report from ABB Motion, a leading provider of electric motors and drives, reveals that resource scarcity is affecting 91% of industrial businesses worldwide, driving them to increase their investment in circularity initiatives.

The report, titled “Circularity: No Time to Waste,” is based on a global survey of 3,304 industrial decision-makers across 12 countries and various sectors, such as energy, metals, chemicals, oil and gas, marine, mining, and utilities. It shows that raw materials, energy, labor, and electronic components are the most scarce resources, leading to increased costs, supply chain disruption, and production slowdowns for many businesses.

The report also highlights the urgent need for greater energy efficiency across industry, as two-fifths of respondents reported energy as their biggest source of waste. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated that improving energy efficiency will be a critical lever in meeting Net Zero targets and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

While the survey reveals optimism about investing in circularity, which involves minimizing waste and maximizing the value of resources, it also identifies some barriers to progress. For instance, there is no consensus on the definition of “circularity” among respondents, and only 8% see it as a company-wide responsibility. However, this group reported the highest level of improvements in key circularity metrics, such as energy consumption, use of recycled materials, and carbon emissions.

The report also shows that many important circular practices are still not widely adopted by businesses, such as partnering with waste management companies, incorporating energy-efficient technologies, and promoting circular principles in the supply chain. On the other hand, 67% of respondents said they are using recycled materials in their products to some extent.

According to the report, investing in circularity has already brought measurable benefits to businesses, such as waste reduction, energy efficiency improvements, process efficiency, and cost control. Most respondents (78%) also agree that the circular economy encourages innovation and drives competitiveness. They also support increased regulation and reporting requirements (74%) and want more government support for adopting circular business practices (77%).

Tarak Mehta, President of ABB Motion, commented on the report: “The pressing need to transition to a circular economy has never been clearer. Our current way of life is depleting resources at an unsustainable rate, contributing to emissions and climate change. Embracing circularity is not only essential for safeguarding our environment but also for enhancing business resilience.”

“This survey highlights the importance of taking a holistic approach, instilling responsibility at all levels of the organization, and embracing new technologies and collaborations. While there are challenges to overcome, businesses that fully embrace circularity see significant benefits, from cost control to improved reputation. We must act now, to make circularity the norm in global industries. There is no time to waste.”

Click here to consult the full report:

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