Social Enterprise cannot achieve its full potential in relation to waste management, unless data problems are solved, according to a report published by Defra.
The research report, Social Enterprises and Sustainable Waste and Resource Management: Evaluating Impacts, Capacities and Opportunities, evaluated the potential capacity of the SE sector to deal with waste and resources.
Generally the report viewed the role of SEs in waste management as positive and identified a number of opportunities for further integration of SEs into the sector.
However the research also identified existing barriers which currently influence the extent of this integration.
One of the key issues outlined was that of the current system of data collection processes in place to record the activities of SEs working within waste management.
Currently data collection is not far reaching enough to be able to fully understand the role played by SEs when it comes to waste management.
Without this understanding, it is difficult to know how to develop the involvement of SEs further.
Responding to the report London Community Resource Network head of resource and enterprise Karl Scholfield said: Defras report into the role played by social enterprise in the sustainable management of resources highlights a number of important areas in which LCRN and other support networks within REalliance CIC are attempting to drive change within the sector.
Scholfield also agrees that there is a need to implement improved data collection processes.
He said: Better data collection and better use of that data will help us measure our social impact more meaningfully, which will in turn help secure a long term role for social enterprise in mainstream waste management.