Britain’s businesses urged to tap into green economy potential

Britain’s businesses should tap the full potential of a low carbon economy and green society the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn will say tonight.

Speaking at the launch of the Aldersgate Group’s ‘Beyond Carbon’ report Mr Benn will call on businesses to recognise the business benefits of building resource efficiency and sustainability into their long term planning and risk assessment.

Commenting ahead of the event he said:

‘There can be no doubt that we need both a low carbon and resource efficient economy. Resource efficiency already makes good business sense – reducing waste, water and energy use cuts costs in the short term – but those businesses that also adopt a longer term approach to improving their resource efficiency will ensure their sustainability and future success in a world where our natural resources are becoming scarcer, and more expensive. The Aldersgate Group report ‘Beyond Carbon’ is a timely addition to the debate on how to achieve this.’

Mr Benn will use his speech to highlight the fact that the low carbon and environmental goods and technologies market is worth nearly £110 billion to the UK providing nearly 900,000 jobs. The global market is well over £3000 billion and British companies need to take a bigger share. Even by making low and no-cost resource efficiency measure businesses could save £6.4 billion a year.

Drawing attention to the fact that 90 percent of all waste comes from businesses, most of which still goes to landfill he will say:

‘When we have reached a point where what we now call waste is called a resource, we will

have achieved an economy that uses its resources wisely.

‘We will reach a resource efficient economy by using only what we need. We will reach it by re-using things as much as we can, turning them into something else when we can’t, and recycling to give them an infinite lifespan. That is why I will be consulting soon on banning certain items from being sent to landfill.’

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