Saturday 24th September 2016                 Change text size:

Poll: UK government failing to encourage circular economy



waste by perfortunasonosiculo via Flickr

A survey has found that sustainability professional believe that the UK government is failing to encourage businesses to improve resource efficiency and move towards a circular economy.

The poll comes from the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), a network of environment and sustainability professionals, and asked 400 members on their views of how the government is progressing towards circular economy goals.

Some 89% of participants said they do not believe that government departments and agencies are joined up in their delivery of coherent and clear messages to help organisations improve the efficient use of resources. None of those involved in the survey described that government’s approach as “very well joined-up”.

Almost nine out of ten of the respondents also state that the sector they work within is not doing enough to create a circular economy.

Josh Fothergill, IEMA’s policy and engagement lead on sustainable resource management, commented that the findings show that the next government needs to do more to work with businesses to embed a circular economy way of thinking.

He added, “There are huge opportunity for the UK to better connect government and business in this area. Our poll results clearly show how keen our members are to see the UK be a leading international player on sustainable resource management so that we capitalise on the available savings and sustainability benefits.”

In order to achieve circular economy goals, 89% of those polled state there is a need to develop government-issued advice on incorporating resource productivity and security within corporate reporting, while 96% think the government should develop a specific strategy.

Fothergill added, “So far there are isolated yet inspiring storied of organisations who are really leading the way on resource management, but they are too thin in the ground. We know that businesses that get this right can achieve £1 million plus savings, so what our members want to see is greater clarity, leadership and coherence to make this a reality for all businesses.”

Photo:  perfortunasonosiculo via Flickr

Further reading:

Switching to a ‘circular’ economy will unlock crucial investment

Report urges tech firms to embrace circular economy

EU plans to recycle 70% waste by 2030 to promote circular economy

Sustainable policies could support EU economic growth, says report

EU air pollution and recycling laws could be scrapped


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