Securing the Future The Role of Resource Efficiency (2010)

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This report quantifies how resource efficiency actions, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, can reduce abstracted water, ecological footprint and the use of specific resources. This research has attempted a novel way of modelling the resource inputs, flows across industrial sectors and the final outputs. In this report, environmental issues have been modelled consistently at the macro-economic level, and represent the first known attempt to incorporate physical data into a model which tracks the movement of materials through the UK economy.

Executive summary

In 2009 WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) published ‘Meeting the UK Climate Challenge: The Contribution of Resource Efficiency’, the UK’s first research into how resource efficiency can help the UK meet its climate change targets. The report showed that implementing 13 quick win resource efficiency strategies – see Table 1 below – could contribute as much as 10% of the target reduction in UK domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 as required by the Low Carbon Transition Plan. There would also be additional reductions in GHG emissions outside the UK associated with changes in UK consumption of products manufactured abroad.