Sir Gavin Williamson invited Lord Callanan, the Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance to join him to visit the Ibstock factory in Cheslyn Hay, a large local employer for the area.
Sir Gavin was keen to discuss ways to support energy intensive industries transition to net-zero. It has been estimated that industry is responsible for around 16% of the UK’s emissions. The ceramics industry has an integral role to play as a fundamental support for the UK’s independent steel industry. As such, Sir Gavin has backed government initiatives to support the de-carbonisation of the manufacture of ceramics and a broader encouragement for the transition towards green energy sources throughout British industry. As of February 2023, £34.8 million of funding has been awarded through the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund which was first launched in June 2020, and currently £12.4 million in Government funding is helping some of the higher emitting industries to find new ways to reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills.
Sir Gavin said: “It was great to meet with representatives from Ibstock PLC, the largest brick manufacturers in the UK, and key market players that are leading the push towards cleaning our industry emissions. I’m proud to see industry bases in Staffordshire are spearheading the transformation towards net-zero, and am in full support of the Government measures that will enable them to do this. I was also pleased to meet with representatives from Ceramics UK, a crucial industry for the national economy.”
Emily Landsborough, Head of ESG at Ibstock Plc said ‘‘Working with Government is crucial for Ibstock and the wider sector in achieving Net Zero ambitions. The long term support and investment for industrial decarbonisation and the development of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen) are strategies that the Private Sector and Government are collaborating closely to ensure we achieve the pace of change required to address climate change. Visits like this help build knowledge of the unique challenges and opportunities we have in the Ceramics sector and wider UK Manufacturing.’’
A representative from Ceramics UK said: ““Our visit to Ibstock provided a great opportunity to showcase to the Minister the diverse nature of the UK ceramics industry and how its essential products are hidden in plain sight. Ibstock highlighted the significant work our industry is doing to decarbonise and meet the UK’s net zero targets. We want to demonstrate to government ministers, civil servants, and the media the vast array of products and geographical impact our industry brings to our lives and to seek government support in our decarbonisation journey."