IEMA Welcomes report aimed at driving Productivity and Efficiency gains across the UK Economy

This important report addresses the real issue of how Government, policy makers, manufacturers and the wider business community can respond to a world of ever more limited resources.

In welcoming the report Martin Baxter, Executive Director – Policy, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, said: “The transition to a circular resource economy, with resource productivity and efficiency at its heart, will require new metrics to measure success. The Commission’s recommendations shine a light on how we can develop and evaluate progress and shape policy for a sustainable economy.”

The report highlights a stark reality that the future will see demand for resources outstrip supply and the security of that supply become an increasingly critical, but unstable, factor.

With strong signs of growth in the UK economy the report considers the impacts of constrained resources and the rising cost of materials and other inputs. These costs are potentially a significant threat to sustainable long term growth. Laura Sandys MP, Chairman of the Commission behind the report, concluded: “The 20th Century was about GDP, but the 21st will be about productivity”

The report’s findings highlight that the gains available from becoming more resource efficient, more productive and resource resilient are significant, including: 12% increase in profits per annum for manufacturers and £3 billion in savings from avoiding landfill costs and retaining resource value.

These results echo IEMA’s own research into Resources and Waste Management. The Institute’s 2013 survey found that by employing skilled and qualified environment & sustainability professionals, organisations of all sizes are achieving a range of significant cost savings through taking action to reduce and manage their resources and waste. More than 500 respondents indicated that their company had achieved cost savings such as:

  • Very large companies - 27.5% save over £500,000 per year, 19% of which save over £1M per year for each company.
  • Large companies - over 20% save £100,000 per year, around 18% of them save over £200,000 per year for each company.
  • And with SMEs - 63% save over £5,000 per year for each company, with 44% of them saving over £10,000 per year.

IEMA’s will launch its report into the role environmental & sustainability professionals in transitioning business from waste management to resource management in April.