The Aldersgate Group has welcomed the latest report by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) demanding more government support in the transition towards the circular economy which to date "lacks ambition and leadership". The report makes a series of policy and fiscal recommendations including the establishment of an Office for Resource Management, ban on food waste going to landfill, and the removal of trade barriers for remanufactured goods.
Steve Wallace, Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: "The EAC's call to end the 'throwaway society' rightly recognises the finite nature of resources. Progressive businesses have identified this challenge and are responding to it, but much more can and should be done at a national level to facilitate the transition. Countries that proactively manage the change will have the economic advantage in the future. Those that follow a business as usual strategy will fall behind".
The AG is a partner, with WRAP, in project REBus. The project delivers the technical support business requires to implement the models needed for such a transition and illustrates the financial benefits of doing so.
The Aldersgate Group has supported an announcement by DECC Secretary of State, Ed Davey, that the Government will not amend the Fourth Carbon Budget. The budget covers the period 2023 to 2027 and will stay at its existing level of 1950 MtCO2 equivalent.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: "Mainstream businesses warmly welcome the Government's commitment to the Fourth Carbon Budget. This provides greater certainty for long-term investments in the low carbon technologies that can provide a backbone to growth, jobs and competitiveness.
"The global race to develop and adopt low carbon solutions will help define prosperity in the twenty-first century. This is an important step to ensure that the UK's overall policy framework maximises the economic opportunities of the transition."
Some of the UK’s largest businesses have today called on the Government to simplify how organisations report the carbon emissions associated with the energy that they purchase. A survey of energy professionals finds that there is confusion about current Government policy, leading a number of businesses to question the benefit of so-called “green” tariffs. A number of inconsistencies provide relatively weak and complex signals, leading some Boards to retreat from investing in renewable technologies.
The report, Enable the Label, was written by energy experts Utilyx and commissioned by a steering group that comprises the Aldersgate Group, BT, EY, HSBC, Reed Elsevier, Sky and the Retail Energy Forum. The report recommends that businesses speak to their energy supplier to adopt an electricity label and help to transform the energy market.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “Customers have a right to know the ingredients of the product they are buying, but this is not the case in the energy market. Energy bills must pass the ‘horsemeat test’. Most buyers are unable to determine if the electricity they are purchasing is from renewables, nuclear, gas or coal.”
The Aldersgate Group have welcomed a new report by LSE on how UK carbon policies affect the competitiveness of businesses. It finds that arguments in favour of revising the Fourth Carbon Budget, based on concerns about competitiveness, are not supported by the evidence. Existing data suggest that the impact of current policies is small or negligible, dwarfed by a range of other economic factors.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: "LSE's comprehensive analysis of carbon policies supports the mainstream view of British business that current UK carbon policies do not have a major negative impact on competitiveness. It also demonstrates the beneficial impact of smart environmental policies on potential growth and productivity performance of the UK’s economy as a whole relative to other trading partners. This provides yet more evidence to the call from business leaders for Government to accept the 4th carbon budget without any further delay or uncertainty."