Resource Management

On Monday 17th November, EMG took part in the initial Resource Network Steering Group meeting organized by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA). The event took place at the headquarters of construction firm Wilmott Dixon, in Letchworth.

Daan Elffers, CEO of EMG: “We believe this is a superb initiative of the IEMA to leverage its influence for the greater good, fully in line with its own mission and vision. Together, the members of the IEMA have all the in-depth skills and expertise required for implementing the much-needed leap in sustainable development worldwide and this initiative can provide the incentive and structure to really make it happen.”

Chaired by IEMA Policy and Engagement Lead Josh Fothergill, the meeting was attended by a variety of member experts from the fields of business and research. The meeting sought to identify the current barriers facing the wider adoption of sustainable resource management, and how the IEMA, with its members, can help accelerate the implementation of the process.

Fothergill has previously stated that any attempt at a paradigm shift in production and treatment of waste and resources must “open people’s eyes to look beyond waste management and start looking at the wider issues of resources and the major trends that are developing – and that are inevitable – within the global system”.

Fothergill has praised EMG’s commitment to resource-effectiveness, stating that inspiration has been taken from EMG’s mantra of not simply aiming to do less harm, but rather focusing on how to deliver more good.

Debate focused on how to present sustainable resource management as a business idea which can financially benefit a company, rather than merely an environmental & humanitarian obligation. Government spending cuts were also recognized as an obstacle, as these have led to a lack of accessible guidance information and necessary funding for industry professionals.

It was widely agreed that the proliferation of confusing terminology was a major hindrance to wider system change, as well as the understanding of sustainable resource management ideas within the profession itself. Terms such as circular economy, closed-loop industry, resource efficiency and sustainable resource management all focus on the same central idea of a departure from the linear model of production – but together cloud clarity, limit understanding and cause confusion.

In the next year, the steering group members will work together to encourage greater acceptance of sustainable resource management ideas, through educated understanding, increased accessibility of information and by acting as a platform for knowledge sharing.

Article: Sustainable resource management