Momentum builds for Office for Resource Management
The UK is in desperate need of a dedicated office to drive a transition to the circular economy and extract valuable resources from waste.
That's the conclusion of a paper launched in Parliament on Thursday with the support of the All Party Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG), adding to the groundswell of support for a resource-focused body.
The UK – which relies heavily on imports – is facing increasing restrictions on raw materials essential for economic prosperity. The proposed Office for Resource Management would tackle this by setting policy direction on resource security and efficiency as well as providing the relevant data and support required by industry.
The paper, which was developed by EEF, Institution of Civil Engineers and Friends of the Earth, argues that an ORM would allow for greater policy coherence, ensuring a more co-ordinated response to risks to material supply.
This would bring the UK in line with other manufacturing nations such as the USA, Germany and Japan that already have resource-focused strategies.
EEF senior policy advisor Susanne Baker explained: "The risk to our material supply is well-documented and it's clear that the UK urgently needs a coherent, co-ordinated response. The current piecemeal approach is leaving us lagging behind our peers - we are under-prepared, over-exposed and vulnerable."
The ORM should be created as a policy unit within BIS but with a remit to work across all departments, according to this new report.
People, planet, profit
Friends of the Earth's head of programmes Elaine Gilligan added: "As one of the world's most import-dependent countries, the UK must review its demand for natural resources and take action to boost resource efficiency.
"This will reduce the nation's environmental and human impacts abroad and put our economy on a securer footing. The next Government must sort out our woeful record on resources. Establishing an Office for Resource for Management would be a great start."