London, July 4, 2012 - In the wake of the
Rio+20 Earth Summit, a new UK task force has been launched
to help tackle the global resource challenge.
Involving a diverse mix of large businesses and organisations,
the Circular Economy Task Force will find practical solutions
to mitigate the rising cost of raw materials through reuse
Julie Hill, chair of the Circular Economy Task Force and Green
Alliance associate, said:
"80% of our economy isn't circular - it relies on a supply of
cheap commodities and loses
valuable materials in landfill. But cheap commodities are a thing
of the past."
Ms Hill noted that Nike has just reported that its profits
have been hit by rising resource costs and Credit Suisse suggested
in April that commodity prices could rise by 20% in the second
half of 2012.
"The risk is that without change, resource costs will
constrain economic activity. We're missing out on the economic
opportunity that better material recovery offers," she said.
"Businesses recognise the opportunities
inherent in preventing loss. Loss of energy, materials and water
from the economy in the form of waste can also represents loss to
the bottom line. Capturing value from the materials flows is the
new mantra. Who wouldn't want a piece of that action?" Julie
Hill, chair of the Circular Economy Task Force
Lord Taylor, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which is
supporting the task force said: "Rising material prices are a
real risk to the economy, but also an opportunity for
"Forward thinking businesses are responding with innovative,
circular business models," he noted, adding that the Circular
Economy Task Force "will show how these business models can be
taken up more widely, foster greater resilience to external
shocks, and deliver green economic growth"
The task force aims to build knowledge about how a circular
economy, which captures
materials so that today's goods become tomorrow's resources rather
than landfill, can reduce exposure to resource constraints and
underpin the shift to a green economy.
In addition to finding practical solutions for companies to
adopt, it will identify the barriers to more sustainable
business models, and test how policy changes may speed up the
The task force was announced in the government's Resource
Security Action Plan which has committed to understanding
leading businesses' concerns about resource constraints.