The race to sustainable manufacturing

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With demand increasing for products with finite resources, how can the design and manufacturing industry embrace sustainability?

The demand for products is on the rise, driven by the increasing global population. But the resources we need to meet these levels of demand are finite, and we’re becoming increasingly aware of and concerned by the impact this will have on climate change.

In this podcast’s episode, we welcome James Selka, CEO at the Manufacturing Technologies Association, and Denise Taylor, Director of Wylde Connections, to discuss how companies in the design and manufacturing industry can embrace the ideas of sustainability and apply them to the way we design, make and sell products.


Companies like Brewdog and Google are clearly doing something about offsetting their Carbon footprints. But how can more of us embrace the ideas of sustainability and apply them to the way we design, make and sell products? To discuss sustainability in this podcast’s episode, Asif Moghal welcomes James Selka, the CEO of the Manufacturing Technologies Association, and Denise Taylor, the director of Wylde Connections.

Sustainability is much broader than the very simple specific views that we might carry around in our minds. It's broad enough to include environmental, social, and financial considerations. A great way to accelerate the journey to sustainability is by having a company purpose that is fueled by the leader. SMEs, in particular, should take a look at ways to apply this way of thinking into their products and ignite their workforce around the sustainability mission. Consumers are more swayed by sustainable products than ever before. The best price on its own doesn't seem to be the deciding factor.

The podcast goes on to look at how the supply chain network globally has been impacted by covid. The pandemic has put a spotlight on the fragility of the supply chains. New technologies not only address that issue, but also makes companies more efficient in their processes, reducing waste, energy use, and so forth. Being sustainable is ultimately aligned with business objectives in the engineering manufacturing process.

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Denise Taylor

For the past 30 years, Dr. Denise Taylor has pursued a career spanning two main areas of professional and academic specialism – environmental education and strategic marketing, predominantly working with manufacturing and technology businesses in the UK and abroad.

At the start of 2020, Denise created Wylde Connections with the aim of bringing the different facets of her professional experience together. Her vision is to help manufacturing and industrial SMEs to be better and do better and to look at growth and development through the lens of sustainability.

Transformative learning and technology are two areas that Denise is passionate about, having explored the world of immersive learning 15 years ago when it was in its infancy. Technology is already playing a key role in the sustainability agenda and has much to offer particularly in the realms of new product design and innovation and artificial intelligence.

Through Wylde, Denise is keen to educate businesses and their staff about sustainability and has been busy created online courses and blended learning programs to achieve this.

James Selka

James Selka has over 25 years of manufacturing experience, including 13 years as Managing Director of a specialist high precision, internationally trading, supplier of turnkey instrument sub-systems. During this time James brought clear direction and strong commercial focus both on the shop floor and in the boardroom.  Helping young people to develop was also high on his agenda and having undertaken a technical apprenticeship himself prior to gaining his BSc (Hons) from Buckingham University, James was keen to introduce an in-house, fully-certified apprenticeship scheme.

Prior to joining the MTA James was Production and HR Director at a major manufacturer of mechanical seals and support systems. He also has expertise in corporate finance and improving business performance. James is a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

At the MTA James has driven a focus on technological change particularly as it relates to automation, digitization, and supply chains. He is an expert on global advanced manufacturing and regularly participates in policy formation in the UK, Europe, and further afield.

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