Webinar: Manufacturing sustainability: practical steps towards an efficient future

Generate new value, reduce waste, and profit from the opportunities of a sustainable future

The first in a series of webinars for manufacturers, providing support and ideas on how to reduce waste, generate new value and profit from the opportunities of a sustainable future.

Image: The webinar will include a talk from Gary Punter, Visiting Fellow and previous Chief Technology Officer at AB Sugar who will share his experiences of progressing circular economy principles in this role, including a decision to start producing medicinal cannabis from waste streams.


About this webinar


The Centre for Industrial Sustainability has worked over 350 companies worldwide, helping them to become more sustainable. In this webinar (the first in a series of IfM sustainability webinars) we will bring some of this knowledge and expertise to life, highlighting how to generate new value, reduce waste and profit from the opportunities of a sustainable future.


14:00 to 14:15: Why sustainability makes business sense - Professor Steve Evans


Steve will discuss the logic that links sustainability to business success,  key elements of the Centre’s experience in helping businesses, provide practical insight on what works well and some of the pitfalls. Overall this will give you a fresh perspective on how to gain the benefits of sustainability in your organisation.


14:15 to 14:30: Case study - AB Sugar: using circular economy approaches to convert waste to value – Gary Punter

Gary will explain how his involvement in AB Sugar’s circular economy approach led to their ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ approach, which has won numerous sustainability awards, is recognised as an industry leading approach. He will explain how the process of making sustainability pay has led them  to setting  up the largest medicinal cannabis factory in the world in Norfolk.


14:30 to 14:45: How to tackle sustainability in your organisation

Submit your sustainability challenges either before or during the webinar and Steve and Gary will provide expert advice and guidance on approaches you could take to tackle them.


Register for the webinar  




"If manufacturers moved just halfway from their current resource usage towards the usage of the most efficient companies in their own industry, our research indicates that the impact in manufacturing would be 12% increased profit, 15% more jobs and 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."

Professor Steve Evans, Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability




Webinar Presenters:


Steve EvansProfessor Steve Evans, Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability

Steve likes to study the 'shadows' of manufacturing - not what's manufactured but what has been lost or not used during the process:


"Quite often, we don't need to collect much more data (for our partners) or even any at all, but we do help them to present the data they've already collected in their own factory in different ways."


"And all of a sudden, it goes from being just numbers in the spreadsheet to them saying 'I can now see the waste!' All we're doing is asking the right questions and presenting the results in a way that makes the invisible visible."


Read the "stop doing stupid stuff" approach to sustainable manufacturing


Gary PunterGary Punter, Visting Fellow

Gary Punter was involved in AB Sugar’s circular economy approach, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, which has won numerous sustainability awards, is recognised as an industry leading approach and led to the largest medicinal cannabis factory in the world being located in Norfolk.


"One of the best things I’ve done in my career is to develop the no waste Bio-refinery while working for AB Sugar at Wissington Sugar refinery - it took 3-4 million tonnes of locally grown raw material (sugar beet) which it transforms into Sugar. Early on we realised that being in a commodity market we needed to diversify and we looked at the waste we could turn into resources."


"We turned the topsoil into a product, selling the stones and animal feed, we started to produce electricity from carbon dioxide, we grew tomatoes and we started to use low grade waste streams to make biofuels. The approach also led to us becoming the largest producer of medicinal cannabis in the world supplying ingredients for medicine to treat rare but serious forms of epilepsy in children."


Find out more about sustainability at AB Sugar




About the Centre for Industrial Sustainability (CIS)


CIS works collaboratively with research centres across the IfM and with other universities and industrial partners. The Centre provides knowledge and tools to help manufacturers profit from the opportunities of a sustainable future, and we have helped over 200 companies innovate to become more sustainable.


Find out more >



For further information please contact:

IfM Events

T: 01223 766141

E: ifm-events@eng.cam.ac.uk