Pushing Boundaries

Allan Sandilands, senior consultant in Scotland at Resource Futures, looks at the positive changes taking place in Scotland that the whole of the UK can consider, following the recent announcement the Scottish First Minister

Just last week, Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scotland will be developing a deposit return scheme for used drinks cans and bottles, with the help of Zero Waste Scotland, hoping to increase recycling rates and reduce littering.

The scheme is one of a number of measures aimed at tackling climate change whilst also preparing Scotland for the new, low carbon world. Others include increasing spending on business research and development, delivering free wi-fi throughout major town and city centres across Scotland, and phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.

It’s coming up to a year since Resource Futures successfully launched its office in Scotland and just like these forward-thinking plans the work we are doing north of the border is pushing the boundaries to help Scottish organisations to change their practices to improve their resilience and profitability through better resource efficiency. Whether that’s:

  • Providing support to SMEs to help them realise the cost and carbon savings they can achieve;
  • Developing case studies and best practice guides to inspire people to take action;
  • Supporting organisations to move towards more sustainable circular business models;
  • Researching material markets to identify business development and investment opportunities;
  • Supporting stakeholder engagement and change management;
  • Conducting waste composition analysis and participation monitoring to support local authorities with making informed decisions about future infrastructure needs; or
  • Refreshing waste prevention and reuse plans to help organisations to meet regulatory targets in the years ahead.

All of these activities have a role to play in terms of changing real behaviours on the ground – from large corporates, to SMEs in construction or hospitality, to third sector partners with a focus on the top of the waste hierarchy.

With last week’s announcement from the Scottish Government there continues to be a strong focus on circular economy thinking and carbon reduction in Scotland and this looks set to continue with the collaborative approach being taken around the circular economy bill, due later in this parliament.

Following a brisk first year, we’ve already added to our team on the ground in Scotland, with Consultant Oliver Wright joining us with experience of projects related to waste reduction, reuse and recycling, business and staff engagement, sustainable food and community engagement.

Not only will we continue to grow as we need to so that we can support clients on the ground, we will also share the positive Scottish ambition with our customers around the UK and further afield.

In this way, we hope to assist others to learn from the positive initiatives taking place in Scotland and apply that common sense and foresight elsewhere. As an industry, we believe that we should all be committed to spreading the right messages and learnings around using resources sustainably as far and wide as we can.

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