Published05 April 2022
3 minute read

IFS launches global manufacturing study on sustainability and the circular economy


Survey highlights reactive mindset and legacy infrastructure as barriers to sustainability and underlines manufacturers’ strong focus on the circular economy both in the US and Europe

London, UK, April 5, 2022IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, today announced it has conducted a research study with technology analyst, Omdia, to better understand the views of manufacturing companies worldwide around sustainability and the circular economy.  The survey polled a wide range of respondents working for manufacturers across North America and Europe (all employed at director, or C Level, and above).

The survey is timely given the current acceleration in climate change and the need to curb the impact of manufacturing on the environment through cutting emissions and reducing industrial energy consumption. The disruption of the pandemic acted as a catalyst for enhanced sustainability but external pressures such as customer awareness and regulatory pressure are pushing it up the priority list.

The research covers three key areas, each of which impacts manufacturers’ approach to sustainability. The first covers investment drivers, such as environmental responsibility and barriers like legacy infrastructure. The second considers sustainability implementation status, including key areas where companies are currently focusing their sustainability initiatives and level of sustainability maturity; and the third assesses the case for the circular economy, encompassing its key benefits. 

Key findings include: 

  • Top drivers of sustainability initiatives in organisations are regulatory compliance (ranked number one by 18%); business risk (15%); and financial incentives and tax reductions (15%), revealing a reactive mindset among manufacturers

  • The most important barriers to investment in sustainability are organisational barriers/no centralised responsibility (21%); legacy assets and infrastructure (18%) and upfront cost (17%)

  • In terms of implementation status, 43% of respondents said they had implemented waste and water treatment processes; 40% referenced tracking/reducing carbon emissions across supply chain operations and 38% tracking/reducing carbon emissions for internal operations

  • The circular economy is growing in focus among manufacturers, with 12% saying it is a corporate focus and already deployed and a further 80% either in the process of piloting circular economy initiatives; having finalised circular economy objectives and in the process of deploying them, or in the process of developing objectives around circular economy

  • Progress on circular economy is stronger in North America, (where 18% say it is a corporate focus and already deployed) than it is in Europe (7%)

  • The most significant benefits a circular economy model will deliver for an organisation are seen as: support sustainable strategy (with 78% ranking it in their top five); increase customer engagement (74%) and improve environmental protection (74%)

  • Improving environmental performance through input reduction and waste elimination across the supply chain is at the core of circular economy for 45% of respondents 

  • Most mature industries for the circular economy include chemicals, where more than one in five (21%) have already deployed it, and food and beverage (17%)

For more information, please download the IFS eBook on this sustainability research, where the  survey data is explored in greater detail.

About Omdia Consulting 
Omdia is a market-leading data, research, and consulting business focused on helping digital service providers, technology companies, and enterprise decision-makers thrive in the connected digital economy. Through our global base of analysts, we offer expert analysis and strategic insight across the IT, telecoms, and media industries. We create business advantage for our customers by providing actionable insight to support business planning, product development, and go-to-market initiatives. Our unique combination of authoritative data, market analysis, and vertical industry expertise is designed to empower decision-making, helping our clients profit from new technologies and capitalize on evolving business models. Omdia is part of Informa Tech, a B2B information services business serving the technology, media, and telecoms sector. The Informa group is listed on the London Stock Exchange. We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Omdia’s consulting team may be able to help your company identify future trends and opportunities.

About IFS
IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. Within our single platform, our industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that our customers can be their best when it really matters to their customers—at the Moment of Service™. The industry expertise of our people and of our growing ecosystem, together with a commitment to deliver value at every single step, has made IFS a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 4,500 employees every day live our values of agility, trustworthiness and collaboration in how we support our 10,000+ customers. Learn more about how our enterprise software solutions can help your business today at

IFS Press Contacts:

MEA& APJ: Adam Gillbe
Corporate Communications
Phone: +44 7775 114 856

USA: Mairi Drysdale 
Corporate Communications
Phone: +1 520 396 2155

Europe: Marie-Christin Hansen 
Corporate Communications
Phone: +44 755 306 1878

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