Resource efficiency can boost economic strength of UK plc

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 03 Mar 2016 12:43
Firms need greater support to become more resource efficient

The next Government needs to make significant fiscal and regulatory reforms to help UK businesses be more resource efficient and boost the nation’s economic competitiveness, according to a new report from the Aldersgate Group.

The report details how UK-based firms are facing competitive threats posed by overseas competitors and increasing volatility in the prices of raw materials.

To survive and thrive, some businesses are now moving away from the traditional economic model of ‘take-make-use-dispose’ and moving towards more “circular” processes that allow them to re-use materials.

But as the Aldersgate Group points out today, this is happening despite several regulatory and tax barriers that are hampering businesses’ ability to be more resource efficient.

Its report, ‘Resource Efficient Business Models: the roadmap to resilience and prosperity’, published today, sets out the initial findings of an EU LIFE+ funded project, REBus.

This three-year project, of which the Aldersgate Group is a key a partner, will support 30 pilot schemes to test how businesses can achieve a 30% reduction in resource consumption by 2020. Pilots are being run by large organisations and SMEs, all receiving technical expertise and support.

Steve Wallace, an Aldersgate Group Director who leads its REBus project work, said: "To secure long term prosperity our nation must be resource efficient. A growing number of forward thinking companies are adopting resource efficient business models and, through our involvement in the EU LIFE+ funded project REBus, we are supporting more to do the same."

Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group added: “To make a real difference, a more coordinated approach supported by a better regulation agenda is needed to make resource efficiency the easiest and most financially rewarding choice for businesses.

"The report that we are launching today sets out the critical actions required to accelerate the transition to a more resource efficient and therefore more prosperous economy."

The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) voiced its support for the publication of the new report.

IEMA’s lead on Sustainable Resource Management Josh Fothergill said: “There is absolutely no doubt that resource efficiency measures will become crucial to every business in the future. Those organisations that are early adopters of sustainable resource management practices are really reaping the rewards.

“The next Government has an opportunity to take the lead and implement centralised, mandatory schemes which will ensure that all UK businesses feel the benefit.”

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