The days of cheap waste disposal are gone. Whilst many firms work to reduce such costs, leading organisations are already pursuing opportunities to generate growth and improve business resilience by realising the value of the resources that pass along their value chains. This activity is the first step in a transition business will make over the coming years to move from managing waste to maximising the value of resources.
Factors such as global competition, supply risks and environmental change will continue to drive increases in the unit cost of key materials (e.g. metals, wood, plastic, etc). The pace at which business reacts to resource risk will not only affect the competitiveness of individual firms, but also that of the UK economy. Environmental professionals are already playing a key role in championing and delivering this change, but what drives our success and what are the barriers that hold back the next steps?