Members Working Group Set Out Eight Points For Consideration

A working group populated exclusively by IEMA Fellows has made eight key recommendations to the UK Government as part of the upcoming Resources and Waste Strategy.

The UK’s plan to address resource efficiency and the “market failure” of waste production is due for publication in late 2018. With the UK standing to gain £23bn annually from an estimated trillion dollars of worldwide savings available through the circular economy, this strategy is viewed as a significant opportunity for the UK to become a world leader in resource productivity and efficiency.

While the Government is developing the strategy and gathering consultation responses, the IEMA Fellows Circular Economy Working Grouphas submitted a detailed contribution to Defra. The group has outlined their perspectives, recommendations and critical considerations on resource utilisation, effectiveness and security, fiscal measures plus the role of data, skills and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The headline points are:

1. IEMA fully supports the development of a resources and waste strategy and the long-term target of eliminating waste.

2. Maximising resource utilisation and resource effectiveness should lie at the heart of the strategy – ensuring that we extract maximum value over precious resources and enhance overall economic productivity.

3. It is essential that the strategy should contain plans for a centralised coordination body on resource security, one that will ensure more cohesive policies across government departments and swift responses in the face of constraints on short term resource supply.

4. Fiscal instruments have the potential to reflect and transfer the true environmental costs of materials to their users and provide the basis for realising their full value.

5. The strategy should establish sector-based approaches with environment practitioners and industry stakeholders to explore alternative fiscal measures than those that simply further drive up recycling rates.

6. A data valuation methodology is essential to ensure that resource management in organisations is optimised - Clear milestones for achieving it will help make the strategy more resilient to post-Brexit scenarios.

7. A strong focus on skills to support technical knowledge and systems thinking are key for ensuring a resource effective economy – the Strategy should integrate plans for an institution that provides the necessary learning resources and tool kits.

8. The UN Sustainable Development Goals offer UK organisations the opportunity to shift the way they operate and support a transition to a resource efficient economy – any regulatory proposal contained in the Strategy should be mapped against the SDGs.

IEMA is currently awaiting an invitation from Defra to get further involved in the development of the Strategy, and members will be updated on next steps.

Click here to view the policy recommendations on the upcoming Resources & Waste Strategy by the IEMA Fellows Circular Economy Working Group.


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