Sustainable resource management has the potential to generate savings of over $1 million annually for some UK businesses, according to a report by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
The report is part of a larger call to action for businesses by the IEMA, which notes that price volatility, supply shortages, disruption of supply chains, and reputational risks are turning sustainable resource management into a critical issue for business.
According to IEMA’s Josh Fothergill, small and medium-size businesses with skilled environment and sustainability professionals on staff are currently saving £5,000 a year ($8,500), and the largest companies can save over £1 million a year ($1.7 million).
The IEMA also points to research from the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs that indicates that more than 80 percent of £23 billion ($39 billion) of “quick win” resource efficiency savings available to UK businesses are the result of a smarter use of raw materials and waste minimization actions. These efforts have a payback period of less than a year.
According to research from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there is an increasing amount of evidence that shows that a circular economy, where materials are put back to practical use after their primary use has finished, has the potential to generate trillion dollar savings ($1.7 trillion).
To help businesses fully embrace a circular economy view of resources, the IEMA has launched two pieces for business use. The first, From Waste to Resources, serves as a guide for environment and sustainability professionals to convert their waste costs into revenue.
The second, Sustainable Resource Management, is aimed at non-specialists and decision-makers so they can fully comprehend the organizational benefits of sustainable resource management. In addition, IEMA has created a Resource Action Maturity Planner as a way for businesses to assess what steps they need to take in order to be successful through resource management.