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Remanufacturing boosts economy

Remanufacturing gives industry a new lease of life.

5 Mar 15

The remanufacturing industry in Scotland has the potential to grow rapidly, from its current value of £1.1 billion to the Scottish economy, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead confirmed today.

The figure is revealed as the Cabinet Secretary published a report, commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, which examines just how valuable the remanufacturing industry – which employs some 17,000 people across the country – is to Scotland.

Speaking at the Holyrood Waste Conference today, Mr Lochhead said:

“Remanufacturing – where we restore and extend the life of a product – is a key area with momentum in Scotland. The figures speak for themselves and it is clear that creating more opportunities in this area will be a huge benefit to the economy – in fact by 2020 remanufacturing activity in Scotland could grow by up to £620 million, and bring up to 5,700 new jobs to the country, which is just fantastic for the sector.

“A few weeks ago I officially launched the Scottish Institute of Remanufacture – the first such centre in Europe, and one of only four in the world alongside Singapore, New York and Beijing. I also visited Mackies, a company in the East End of Glasgow that remanufactures gearboxes.

“There are many specialists working in remanufacturing in Scotland, ranging from family businesses like Mackies to major international companies such as Cummins’s Diesel Recon, who remanufacture diesel engines, and the Weir Group, who remanufacture centrifugal pumps, steam turbines and compressors.

“Earlier this week the Carbon Trust and the Knowledge Transfer Network published a report pointing to the Scottish Institute of Remanufacture as a model of good practice for the UK, whilst stating the rest of the UK is lagging behind on remanufacturing.

“The report published today identifies the major areas of remanufacturing activity in Scotland – the aerospace, automotive, energy, and rail sectors. There are other sectors which could also support significant remanufacturing activity, including ICT and medical equipment.

“The Scottish Government is determined to pursue this opportunity and earlier this week, the First Minister launched Scotland’s Economic Strategy, which emphasises the importance of remanufacturing for a variety of existing sectors. The challenge is to ensure that we put in place the structures and support to nurture this promising activity, and help us move towards a more circular economy where we keep products and materials in high value use for as long as possible.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“This report, commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland, is a landmark in providing evidence of the fantastic economic potential of remanufacturing in Scotland. Remanufacturing is already a key part of the developing circular economy in Scotland and can play even more of a part in the future – reducing our reliance on raw materials and creating high quality jobs in communities across the country.

“Zero Waste Scotland is committed to supporting and promoting the development of a circular economy in Scotland, with all the benefits that will bring.”  

Director of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service at Scottish Enterprise, Nick Shields, said:

“Remanufacturing is an exciting opportunity for Scotland’s manufacturing sector. It can help stimulate innovation, boost productivity, create jobs and promote increased resilience to price spikes in raw materials. Working closely with the new Scottish Institute for Remanufacture, we aim to support more companies to respond to the opportunities and help create new jobs and wealth for Scotland.”


Worldwide, remanufacturing is a significant economic activity, accounting for about $110 billion in global sales.

The full report can be found here: www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/remanufacturingreport


Remanufacturing and the circular economy

Action to create a more circular economy starts with product design, through part and product manufacture, then the way in which we use products and, lastly, what we do with a product when it reaches the end of its service life. In a circular economy, we retain the maximum value from a product by making the best use of the material, labour, energy and capital that has gone into its production, by making sure it stays in high value use for as long as possible, through reuse, repair or remanufacture before finally recycling.

Remanufacturing is a key strategy within the circular economy, and is relevant to manufactured products which have involved significant material, energy and labour resources in production, and for which most of the value of the products can be recovered. Often, remanufacturers take the opportunity to upgrade the products from old to current performance standards of energy efficiency or productivity, which sets them aside from other products which have simply been repaired.


Claire Stanley :  0131 244 2614 / 07580 485951

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