Westminster Palace: Could an Office for Resource Management be a solution?

EMG has recently visited the parliamentary event “A secure & resilient economy: Could an Office for Resource Management be an answer?” at the palace of Westminster. This event was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group in partnership with different environmental groups including “Friends of the Earth” to launch a paper on how a governmental Office for Resource Management should operate and what it could be tasked with.

According to this paper, this office would be responsible for managing the shift in perception from waste to resource and towards a circular economy. The discussion was chaired by Member of Parliament Barry Sheerman and led by several other MPs, representatives of political parties and leading NGOs. All participants agreed that it is critical to shift the perception from waste to resource.  To achieve this, an opportunity perspective should be taken to realize the benefits of a circular economy.

This is one of the most fundamental business principles of EMG.  Regarding the parallel increase of demand and prices of commodities, it is clear that material security is an increasingly important issue for all businesses. There are significant economic benefits to the implementation of a circular economy, the working group recognized this fact as well considering how governments can assist companies by creating markets for recycled products and materials. From the working group’s point of view, the areas resource security, efficiency and husbandry are most important and the main focus for the Office of Resource Management. These issues are expected to be entrenched in Government thinking by this office. It will be responsible for the  coordination of governmental activities and can allow for a more coherent policy.

In February this year, at the World Economic Forum, Walter Stahel presented on sustainable taxation for a circular economy. Read EMG’s article about this presentation.  The panel recognized the importance of taxation as a driver of behavioral change. At the same time members warned not to put “environment” across as a cost but to communicate it in a more positive way.

A Resource Management Office as discussed at this event can be responsible for setting incentives and providing a legal framework for organizations to change their business practices. However,  companies themselves will be key to making the circular economy a global reality. EMG has worked together with many organizations and has successfully assisted the implementation of circular business models. This has significantly increased the profitability of these organizations underlining the point made by the discussion members, that there is a positive and inclusive benefit in driving this concept forward.