An Economy That Works: Business alliance fronts green growth campaign
Asda, BT and M&S are among an alliance of businesses mounting further pressure on the Government to outline a credible growth strategy based on a low-carbon and resource efficient economy.
‘An Economy That Works’ is a new report from Aldersgate Group – a collective of companies with a combined turnover of almost £400m that seeks to drive action for a sustainable economy.
Published less than a year before the next General Election, the report argues that the current Government is ‘neglecting the need to plan for sustainable growth’.
Oliver Dudok van Heel, director of Aldersgate Group and the report’s author, said: “The most recent growth figures are welcome news for the UK economy, but the government needs to ensure that growth is equitable as well as financially and environmentally sustainable. An Economy That Works provides some clear policy guidance to achieve good growth.”
The report highlights six core characteristics that define success in ‘an economy that works’. These include low carbon, zero waste, enhancing nature, wellbeing at the core, high employment and equality of opportunity.
Framework for action
The authors argue that delivering these characteristics through a systemic, economy-wide approach will help the UK meet the growing global demand for smart, low-carbon and resource efficient solutions and enable the country to ‘take a lead in the global race’.
Nick Lakin, group head of Government affairs at Kingfisher, said: “This report addresses a fundamental question we face today: how can we maintain prosperity and wellbeing in a resource constrained world? This report offers a compelling framework for action to redefine capitalism in a truly sustainable way.”
Ramon Arratia, sustainability director at Interface, added: “We need a new industrial model, where growth, profitability and sustainability are self-reinforcing, and An Economy That Works provides a clear overarching framework for policy-makers to make this happen.”
This is the latest in a line of reports that are calling on the Government to do more in the areas of climate change, resource efficiency and business sustainability.
- Last week, a report from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) claimed that Britain’s progression towards a low-carbon economy is being ‘hampered by political uncertainties surrounding recent energy price hikes, the impact of the recession and on-going concerns about energy security’.
- Days later, another report commissioned by Friends of the Earth and WWF-UK stated that the economic modelling used by the UK Treasury to assess the costs of action on climate change ‘should be treated with extreme caution’.
- And on Friday (2 May), a separate report commissioned by environmental charity Global Action Plan (GAP) revealed a ‘policy blackhole’ on energy efficient goods.
Today’s Aldersgate Group report concluded: “We believe we are on the verge of a new industrial revolution. The race to create and sell solutions that meet global 21st century needs is well under way.
“The good news for the UK is that we are in a strong position to lead in many areas and are already reaping the rewards. The danger is that we fall behind in areas where we currently have comparative advantage.”
View the full report from the Aldersgate Group below. For more information, visit www.aldersgategroup.org.uk.
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