The approach of the General Election is a very important time for our industry. If previous elections are anything to go by, new ministers will be appointed in the aftermath and they will they need as much guidance as possible to get to grips with the many challenges facing them.
Our sector will be there to help – and the RWM Ambassadors are ready to play their part.
The Ambassadors, leaders from all parts of the resource management sector, have met twice this year to explore a number of issues on the industry’s agenda. They have earmarked four subjects for special attention: innovation and ‘smart’ cities; behaviour and language change; materials demand; and waste data.
The last theme follows the commissioning by the Ambassadors and publication last year of a special report on data in which Defra has shown a lot of interest.
Working groups have been set up to dig deeper into the many factors relating to these issues and explore how they might feed into the seminar sessions at RWM at the NEC in September.
In the past month, the Ambassadors have also responded to the green paper from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Building our Industrial Strategy. We concentrated on three topics.
Globally, governments have recognised that, through population growth and increased consumption, we face a resource-constrained future.
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The RWM community understands this, and we are working together across the resource spectrum – water, energy and renewable energy, and waste and resources – to help individual businesses and whole sectors to realise the potential of resource efficiency on their bottom line, the environment and business continuity.
We have identified this as one of the key pillars in the green paper. At the moment the focus is on public procurement. Important as this is, it represents only a 14% (and falling) share of total procurement and spending. So we believe the concept of procurement embraces all feedstocks into the economy.
We do not yet have the infrastructure, incorporating the right technologies, to deliver a resource productive future for the UK. But we are working closely with the National Infrastructure Commission on its first National Assessment, which has identified water, energy and waste/resources within the six top priority sectors.
So, when all the votes have been counted and we know who our new ministers are, we will be writing to the relevant people to highlight our programme and invite them to RWM. So watch this space.
Barry Dennis is RWM chairman