New task force to drive green growth launches

Secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs Caroline Spelman has welcomed a new independent task force that aims to find opportunities for UK firms to drive green economic growth.

As part of the Ecosystem Markets Task Force, launched yesterday (November 23) in London, industry leaders and experts from a wide range of sectors will join forces to review ways in which businesses can improve both environmentally and financially.

It is anticipated that this will be achieved through the development of green products services and markets that protect the environment.

It will then report back to the Government at the start of 2013 through the Green Economy Council.

Speaking at the launch, Caroline Spelman MP said: “It is estimated that UK businesses could save around £23bn each year by using raw materials, energy and water more efficiently. If businesses can reduce waste, develop sustainable alternatives or recover value from existing products they will not only help their bottom line, but also benefit the environment.

“The Ecosystem Markets Task Force, which begins its work today, will help UK businesses get ahead of the curve and help us grow our economy more sustainably. I look forward to engaging with them on the business opportunities there will be for greener businesses and I look forward to reading their analyses.”

Heading up the Task Force is retail group Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire, who said that the launch offered business decision-makers the opportunity to help shape the early work programme of the initiative.

He said: “The challenge for the Task Force, as I see it, is to find new ways for business to profit from valuing and protecting nature. It is an opportunity for business to contribute and make recommendations to the Government and to shape the agenda.

“We need to be radical and innovative in our thinking and explore areas where businesses can gain real, measureable benefit as the UK moves towards a green economy.”

Carys Matthews

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