Friday, 28 January 2011

Government warns UK firms to make better use of resources

A major report, published by DEFRA, explains the need for UK firms to factor resource issues into their long-term decision-making and to find alternatives to the materials they now use. We recently highlighted that one of our past winners, ENWORKS, is helping businesses do just that.

Business Green reports:

“According to the research ... a wide range of materials will face constricting supplies over the next few decades as the global population rises towards an estimated nine billion by 2050. [T]he report warns that the supply of rare earth elements is likely to be particularly constricted. Companies will have to increase recycling rates and make better use of metals such as indium (a component in solar panels), as well as cobalt and lithium (elements in electric car batteries and solar cells).”

Todd Holden, ENWORKS director, says small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often aware of the importance of resource efficiency, but this doesn’t often translate into action:

"Our own independent research on business attitudes, which surveyed businesses of all sizes, but focused on SMEs, has found that 82% of businesses felt that resource efficiency was 'very important' or 'of some importance' to them. Yet, crucially, only 33% had made efficiency improvements in their use of energy, materials or water in the previous 12 months, and only 20% were planning to do something about it in the following 12 months.”

It's clear more could be done. The financial savings alone make this self-evident. DEFRA’s report states that energy efficiency measures could save British companies more than £6bn a year.

See also: ENWORKS shows that resource efficiency can save your business

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