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UK agencies study circular economy’s benefits

February 11, 2016

circular_economy_infographic-300x264A report from a parliamentary group identified green procurement benefits, while another organisation has mapped out jobs that could be created in each region.

Edie reported on the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (ASPRG) report into the circular economy, in which it states that “green procurement policies will provide the UK with its single biggest ‘quick win’ in its transition” to the new model, with procurement departments set to “play a pivotal role in resource efficiency” because they are the “gatekeepers of purchasing decisions”.

The report adds that green procurement “is one of the few policy levers that influence all aspects of the circular economy, from product design to innovation in service models and management of post-consumer discards”, as well as a “particularly potent policy measure promoting resource efficiency”. Another recommendation in the report is “more funding for remanufacturing research”, with senior researcher Anne-Marie Benoy stating that “communication and collaboration [are] vital if gains [are] to be made across sectors”.

She added: “The greatest challenge, but also potential, of improving material resource efficiency across various stages of the supply chain will be in linking the value chain – e.g. designers, manufacturers, logistics, consumers, waste managers – both practically/professionally and in terms of communication and sharing innovation.”

In turn, CIWM Journal reported that WRAP presented an exhibition at the UK’s Houses of Parliament that showed “circular economy job opportunities for each parliamentary constituency”, having previously found that 205,000 new roles would need to be created, as well as pointing out that London alone could see 40,000 jobs created because of it.

The exhibition also saw a Google tool created that “enables individuals to look at each constituency and understand the scope of circular economy employment potential”. The organisation stated that the exhibition “aims to build” on its other work and “demonstrate a detailed view of regional opportunities for the UK”.

Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, commented: “WRAP has shown the jobs potential for Continent, Country and Capital. But now we’re drilling right down to the Constituencies – delivering indicative figures for MPs and their constituencies. Boosting the economy, providing jobs and protecting the environment are key issues for any government. However, the circular economy could offer real benefits in all three areas, and promises to turn these issues into opportunities”.

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