The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) should be given responsibility for looking after resource efficiency, recycling and waste, according to Laura Sandys MP.
As the chair of the Conservative’s 2020 Productivity and Efficiency Commission, she is set to publish a report in January that will give Chancellor George Osborne recommendations on how to make the UK economy more resource efficient.
With Defra currently responsible for developing recycling and waste policy, her commission will recommend that BIS takes over this policy area to enable better integration of secondary materials into supply chains.
Speaking at today’s launch of the Practical Path to Resource Efficiency report from Burges Salmon and LRS Consultancy, she also revealed that the commission will recommend a ‘Remade in Britain’ campaign to showcase use of secondary materials and recycling in the UK economy. She also suggested that a unit could be created within BIS with responsibility for developing resource efficient business around the ‘Remade in Britain’ theme.
Her commission will also recommend that a new metric of profitability is drawn up by the Treasury and BIS as she considers GDP unreflective of how businesses are performing.
She said: “This is a country that imports a lot of resources. How are we going to compete therefore on price but also on resource availability?
“The Government hasn’t really thought about resource efficiency as we have traditionally always been able to go out and buy things when we want them.
“But my message to the Treasury is that there is a huge risk to our supply chain.
“I talked to [Chancellor] George Osborne about competitiveness and how we had to drive down costs to business to be more competitive internationally and how this makes business sense.
“We have to start thinking differently. Metrics on profitability has not been looked at. So my report is recommending that the Government looks at productivity and profitability as key metrics.”
She added that the remanufacturing sector is currently worth around £5 billion and has the potential to grow to a £10 billion UK industry.