88% of sustainability professionals say industry falling short on circular economy
The vast majority of environmental and sustainability professionals think that the industry they work in is not doing enough to achieve circular economy goals.
That’s one of the standout findings of a new survey from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), which polled 400 of its members.
The survey results reveal a widespread pessimism over industry circular economy efforts, in what should be a time of optimism, after the EU announced its forthcoming circular economy package will be “more ambitious”, “country-specific” and include specific waste targets.
A massive 97% of those polled said the UK should take a strong leadership role in the forthcoming package, while 80% said that more research and action is needed from the next Government to publicise the economic case for proper resource management.
IEMA also surveyed its members on the increasingly-prominent issue of resource security, revealing that 89% do not believe that Government departments are ‘joined up’ in their efforts to help organisations improve their use of resources. Even more damning, not one respondent said the Government approach was “well joined up”.
The industry has been forthright in trying to improve this area, as two reports – supported by EEF, the Green Alliance, ICE and Friends of the Earth among others – have been launched in recent weeks calling for a dedicated resource efficiency office.
And message is not going unnoticed, as Labour and the Liberal Democrats both hinted strongly on Thursday, that an Office for Resource Management would be included in their upcoming election manifesto.
The IEMA survey also revealed that an overwhelming majority (96%) wanted to see more support for remanufacturing. Earlier in March the Carbon Trust and Innovate UK claimed that a dedicated Centre for Remanufacturing could add £3.2bn to the UK economy.
IEMA’s policy lead on sustainable resource management Josh Fothergill said: “There are huge opportunities for the UK to better connect Government and business in this area.
“Our poll results clearly show how keen our members are to see the UK be a leading international player on sustainable resource management so that we capitalise on the available savings and sustainability benefits”.
This is the second of five surveys to be carried out by IEMA in the run up to the General Election. The first, in February, revealed that the main party leaders are not trusted by sustainability professionals on climate change policy.
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