Call for fresh approach to resource productivity

30th March 2023


Related Topics

Author

IEMA

A new long-term environmental targets framework for England was published in 2022. The framework will support the delivery of a range of government priorities, including the Resources and Waste Strategy, which commit to doubling resource productivity by 2030.

Economic growth is intrinsically linked to greater resource use and greenhouse gas emissions. The way we currently use and dispose of materials and products is not sustainable. To meet our environmental targets, we must take a new approach to resource productivity that decouples economic growth from GDP. Doing so offers an opportunity to help the transition to a circular economy.

After consultation with members through webinars and workshops, IEMA has published a policy recommendations paper. For the government to create a robust resource productivity target, the paper recommends the following:

• The evaluation of resources should focus on the entire and extended lifecycle of products, from resource extraction to end-of-life treatment.

• Focusing efforts on decoupling resource use from GDP. This should be based on consumption and not solely on production.

• The target should be underpinned with ‘principles of green growth’ to enable the transition to a low-carbon circular economy through the use of sustainable materials to increase resource efficiency.

• Exploring alternative indicators that cover Pigouvian tax, Environmentally Adjusted Multifactor Productivity Coefficient, and an Index of Product Resource Efficiency to improve resource security and risk for key materials or sectors.

Defra published the Environmental Improvement Plan in January 2023. In this is a commitment to produce a new ‘maximising resources and minimising waste programme in England’.

A programme focused on resource efficiency is a positive step. However, a plan that only covers England will not unlock all the opportunities needed for a more circular and sustainable future.

The practicalities of how the programme will complement a new resource productivity target and interact with policies and initiatives in other jurisdictions are important considerations for the government going forward.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Majority of environmental professionals fear green skills gap

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Groundbreaking legislation on air and noise pollution and measures to tackle growing concerns over disposable vapes provide the focus for Neil Howe’s environmental legislation update

6th June 2024

Read more

Rivers and waterways across England and Wales are increasingly polluted by sewage spills. What is causing the crisis and what is being done to tackle it? Huw Morris reports

31st May 2024

Read more

Disgraced environmental consultant Peter Lovebrother is another month nearer retirement…

30th May 2024

Read more

Despite cost-of-living concerns, four-fifths of shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced or sourced goods, a global survey has found.

16th May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close