The annual global extraction of materials has tripled over the last 50 years, despite efforts to transition to more sustainable methods. In contrast, Europe’s ceramics industry has reduced its energy consumption by half in the last 25 years, primarily due to new manufacturing technology.
The ceramics sector in Europe provides over 338,000 jobs and contributes €27.8 billion to the EU economy, although it faces challenges like high energy prices and dependence on non-EU raw material suppliers. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industry can adapt quickly to changing demands and opportunities.
We spoke with Professor Ian M Reaney, the Dyson Chair in Ceramics at the University of Sheffield, to discuss the industry’s challenges.