Businesses have been warned they may be unprepared for a growing scarcity of resources.
A report from the Carbon Trust says global businesses will be impacted by a lack of water, oil and gas, wood and rare earth minerals in the next 10 years while most companies do not expect to have to take acton until 10 to 15 years.
Over 52% of companies surveyed for the report have not set targets for carbon, water or waste reduction - requiring a growing dependence on reused and recycled materials.
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “The research shows that many organisations are ‘asleep at the wheel’ when it comes to addressing sustainability and resource scarcity, doing nothing to address a problem they indicate could hit their operations by 2018.”
Michael Warhurst, senior campaigner for the Friends of the Earth’s Economics & Resource Use programme said: “These reports show the scale of the challenge in front of us, yet we have a government that is more obsessed by how often our bins our collected than how much we recycle.
“English recycling rates are stagnating or even declining in places - even this most basic resource efficiency measure is failing.
“At European level there is more talk about the circular economy and increasing recycling, but we need action, not just discussions. Recycling targets must be radically increased to prevent the wastage of valuable resources, while ecodesign legislation needs to be updated to ensure product longevity, reusability & recyclability”.