Seven trade associations and environmental groups have written to the leaders of the main political parties to call for an Office for Resource Management.
Combined as the Material Security Working Group, the organisations also requested that any new government implements a review of the UK’s exposure to raw material supply risks.
The letter said: “Industrialists, environmentalists and professional bodies have called on the parties to commit to an Office for Resource Management (ORM), a cost-neutral government-based office to provide oversight and coordination to policy relating to resource security, efficiency and husbandry.
“The UK is among the world’s most import-dependant economies, meaning our companies, our economy and our nation’s broader wealth and wellbeing are vulnerable to interruptions in the supply of natural resources.
“Recent falls in the price of some commodities and raw materials are short-term and reflect continuing volatility. The same dependence on imported resources means that the UK has significant impact on people and the environment around the world.
“Alongside the ORM, an early duty of any incoming government, must be to conduct a review of the UK’s exposure to raw material supply risks, recommending policies for a more resource efficient and resilient economy.
“This would bring the UK in line with other manufacturing nations, which already have strategies in place to shield their economies from resource risks, leaving the UK lagging behind. We cannot afford to continue with the piecemeal and contradictory approach to resource efficiency exhibited to date.”
The Material Security Working Group is comprised of Institution of Civil Engineers, Packaging Federation, Mineral Products Association, Friends of the Earth, ADS Group, Resource Association and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.