Manufacturers launch bid for resource management coordination
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- Supply chain
The UK urgently needs a central body to coordinate work on resource management and the circular economy, a group of organisations said today.
The material security working group, chaired by manufacturers’ organisation EEF, launched a report in parliament calling for the creation of an Office for Resource Management (ORM).
The working group also includes the Institute for Civil Engineers (ICE) and Friends of the Earth, and is supported by the all-party sustainable resource group.
The material security working group is concerned about the escalating risks to the UK’s supply of raw materials, such as platinum, rare earths and niobium. These materials can only be sourced from a limited number of places, are hard to substitute and difficult to recycle, according to the report.
The group says an ORM would be responsible for setting the direction on policy relating to resource security, efficiency and husbandry, and for providing the data, evidence and support required by policymakers and industry.
An ORM would allow for greater policy coherence, and ensure a more strategic and coordinated response to risks to material supply, the group argued.
Other manufacturing nations, including the US, Germany, South Korea and Japan, already have strategies to shield their economies from resource risks, it added.
Susanne Baker, chair of the material security working group and senior policy adviser at EEF, said: “The risk to our material supply is well-documented and it’s clear that the UK urgently needs a coherent, coordinated response. The current piecemeal approach is leaving us lagging behind our peers – we are under-prepared, over-exposed and vulnerable.”
Nigel Mattravers, chair of the waste and resource management expert panel at ICE, commented: “The move to a circular economy will require strategic leadership and coordination, which will be difficult to achieve with the current disjointed nature of waste management policy, split between a number of government departments.”
In December 2018, the government released its resources and waste strategy for England, announcing its plan to address resource efficiency and the ‘market failure’ of waste production.
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