With the circular economy getting ever more traction on the political agenda, remanufacturing needs to be recognised as a crucial step in achieving resource efficiency targets.
We need to take a step back in order to see where remanufacturing fits into both the political landscape and the work of the APSRG. In December 2013 APSRG launched Exporting Opportunity: putting UK waste to work at home and abroad. This report looked in depth at the export of recyclates and refuse-derived fuels, and considered the benefits of keeping these materials within the UK.
Chair of this report, Caroline Spelman MP, recognised the significance of remanufacturing as a way of reshoring precious materials; earlier this year she oversaw another report, Remanufacturing: Towards a Resource Efficient Economy, which outlined the key barriers to the uptake of remanufacturing.
APSRG then realised there were many great success stories in the remanufacturing sector which need to be told in order for it to attract significant political attention. So we launched a new inquiry, this time co-chaired by Spelman and Barry Sheerman MP, with the aim of showcasing these successes and also highlighting the areas ripe with potential for remanufacturing but lacking the support to get off the ground.
Triple Win: The Social, Economic and Environmental Case for Remanufacturing explores in more detail the benefits of remanufacturing and addresses in detail specific barriers to its uptake.
The report aims to answer a few key questions: Is sustainable resource policy too concentrated on the bottom layers of the hierarchy and, if so, why do we assume that our best case scenario is landfill avoidance rather than preventing waste in the first place? What lessons can be learnt from other countries such as the US, the undisputed leader in this field? What does the policy landscape for remanufacturing look like in the US and how can this be transposed into UK policy?
What sectors are leading in this field and what further support do they need? What other sectors have significant potential for remanufacturing and how can this be nurtured and supported through policy? Finally, what encouragement is needed to make the prospect of revolutionising business models more attractive to companies so they consider remanufacturing?
- Triple Win: The Social, Economic and Environmental Case for Remanufacturing is launching in the Palace of Westminster on 8 December.