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New UK task force to tackle ‘global resource challenge’ launches today
A new UK task force created to tackle the global resource challenge launches today (4 July) as part of the government’s Resource Security Action Plan.
Established as a partnership between government and businesses, the Circular Economy Task Force was set up by Green Alliance and includes members from Boots Alliance, WRAP, Veolia and Viridor, as well as representatives from BIS, the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), Defra, the European Ecological Federation (EEF), and the Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network who will all act as observers.
The task force’s key area of focus will be addressing resource concerns such as depleting raw materials, by championing reuse and recovery. It also intends to build knowledge about how a circular economy can reduce resource constraints, find practical green solutions for companies to adopt, identify the barriers to more sustainable business models, and test how policy changes may speed up the transition.
The inaugural meeting will take place this evening at the Royal College of Physicians in London and will see Dame Ellen MacArthur (whose foundation promotes the transition to a regenerative circular economy) give a keynote speech followed by a debate on whether resource security is best achieved through collaboration or competition, focusing on circular recovery.
Julie Hill, chair of the Circular Economy Task Force and a Green Alliance associate, announced the launch of the force today, saying: “Eighty per cent of our economy isn’t circular – it relies on a supply of cheap commodities and loses valuable materials in landfill. But cheap commodities are a thing of the past. Nike has just reported that its profits have been hit by rising resource costs and Credit Suisse suggested in April that commodity prices could rise by 20 per cent in the second half of 2012.
“The risk is that without change, resource costs will constrain economic activity. We’re missing out on the economic opportunity that better material recovery offers.”
Lord Taylor Holbeach, Secretary of State at Defra supported the task force, saying: “Rising material prices are a real risk to the economy, but also an opportunity for innovation. Forward-thinking businesses are responding with innovative, circular business models. The Circular Economy Task Force will show how these business models can be taken up more widely, foster greater resilience to external shocks, and deliver green economic growth.”
More information on the Circular Economy Task Force can be found on the Green Alliance website.
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