The UK is leading the world in developing a whole new set of renewable and sustainable technologies that many hope will shape the post-Covid world.
Thanks in part to a University sector that is among the best in the world, investors from both the UK and beyond are increasingly attracted to the sustainable sector as a way of developing genuinely exciting returns.
A better future
And the opportunity is growing. Recent research showed that within the UK investment industry, funds badged as “ethical” now stand at £20bn of assets according to the Investment Association. While this represents just 1.6% of total industry assets under management, this market share has increased from 1.2% over the last decade and ethical funds under management have grown just £4 billion over this period.
One of the leading areas for investment in renewable and sustainable goods is Greater Manchester, in the north west of England. From its heritage as the world’s leading manufacturer of cotton goods in the nineteenth century, Manchester is now home to three quarters of the world’s top 25 food companies are here and serves as a major food and drink cluster with over 700 companies, including McVities, Kellogg’s and Kraft Heinz. Driven by that the region has become a leader in packaging machinery and services, with over 200 local companies offer expertise in the sector.
That roughly translates to over 11,500 highly skilled workers employed in the packaging industry, while four leading universities create 3,160 industry ready graduates a year, specialising in chemistry, materials, science and engineering. And Manchester is well connected, with London is just over 2 hours away by train, and direct access to over 200 international destinations from Manchester Airport.
Leading the way
The region’s excellence in innovation around packaging in particular will be further boosted by the launch of the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which aims to make 100% of plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Companies in Greater Manchester will be in a prime position to help make this happen.
Investing in the region is becoming easier as the post-Brexit UK begins to look outward beyond Europe and re-forge many of the established links with other parts of the world. And as the country’s with the world’s pre-eminent financial centre just two hours down the road, investors have access to over £2trn of capital waiting to be deployed in new and innovative ways.
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