Transforming the UK Metal Industries: Challenges and Opportunities

Masoud Ahmadinia, Anne Velenturf, Rossi Setchi, Sam L. Evans, Jean McKendree, Jon Bolton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

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The extraction and processing procedures in the metal industries have resulted in a wide range of environmental problems that need to be addressed to achieve net-zero in the UK. The current strategies are heavily biased toward end-of-life phase assessments (such as recycling), possibly neglecting other possible opportunities across entire life cycles, such as advances in product design, manufacturing and in-use phases. TransFIRe is a proactive, interdisciplinary, inclusive research and practice-driven hub with visions to transform foundation industries. The current work represents the results from TransFIRe’s Metal Technical Working Group’s workshops and meetings with the industry and academic partners. Discussions covered the drivers and barriers for transformative change in the UK metal industries, actors in control of the drivers and barriers, actions they could take, and any gaps in the expertise they might face. Besides, the presented analysis includes the environmental impacts of UK metal industries and a review of the solutions offered in previous studies and roadmaps to meet Net Zero targets in the UK. PESTLE and SWOT analyses have been provided to help make a systematic and thorough evaluation of UK metal industries and identify and overcome its challenges for transformative change. Our preliminary assessment shows that lack of government support and capital investment, high energy cost, lack of skilled people, limited recycling facilities and strict recycling regulations are some of the main barriers to transforming UK metal industries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Design and Manufacturing
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing SDM 2022
EditorsSteffen G. Scholz, Robert J. Howlett, Rossi Setchi
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9789811992049
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing - Hotel President, Split, Croatia
Duration: 14 Sept 202216 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameSmart Innovation, Systems and Technologies
Volume338 SIST
ISSN (Print)2190-3018
ISSN (Electronic)2190-3026


Conference9th International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing
Abbreviated titleSDM-2022
Internet address

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


  • Circular economy
  • Dematerialisation
  • Resource management
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Decision Sciences(all)


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