The All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) launched its latest publication Link to Link: Driving Resource Efficiency across Supply Chains on 9th February in Parliament. The report is a collection of expert essays that cover each stage of the supply chain, sponsored by WRc, GJF Fabrications and SUEZ. It explores how resources can be better used to make supply chains more efficient and how waste can be cut along the supply chain.
The list of contributors include influential experts from SUEZ, GJF Fabrications, the University of Northampton, WRc, Feed-back, Northampton Business School, WRAP, the Knowledge Transfer Network, Eunomia Research & Consulting, Royal Holloway University of London and Greenclick.
Co-chairs Barry Sheerman MP and Peter Aldous MP commented: “The UK needs to move towards a system where the entire supply chain of products moves towards the circular model. The old model of make, use, dispose cannot continue, and this is true of all sectors in the UK, not just the environmental services and waste industries.”
With its 12 recommendations, Link to Link tackles procurement, design and manufacture, logistics, consumer behaviour, business model innovation, SMEs, end-of-life discards, metrics and data management. Notably, its first recommendation calls for the government to conduct a call for evidence on the state of play in UK companies for resource efficiency and any barriers holding them back.
The APSRG argues that engagement beyond the waste sector is needed and industries across the supply chain need to collaborate and work with the government to support this. Policy Connect’s Anne-Marie Benoy, now Manager of the APSRG, points out that “Communication and collaboration will be key… Moving towards a more circular economy will require systemic change with many different actors pulling at the same strands and engagement from various government departments. It will therefore be very important to consider the entire product lifecycle at policy level.”
The power of this report lies within its holistic approach, looking at the supply chain in its entirety. The essay authors address measures to ensure that each link in the supply chain can deliver resource efficiency practices in a cost-effective, financially sustainable way. Within the recommendations the APSRG has also looked at ways in which resource and progress towards agreed targets can be accurately measured.
Link to Link includes 10 case studies showcasing how different organisations have put theory into practice. Big names include the consumer behaviour changing campaign ‘Love Food Hate Waste’, Puma’s ‘Clever Little Bag’, BMW’s waste and carbon cutting programs, Argos’ electrics recycling scheme, Defra’s ‘re-engineering business for sustainability’ project, and the Furniture Reuse Network. These inspiring case studies show that supply chain resource efficiency affects all kinds of organisations and is something that can be tackled at every level.
Link to Link is both relevant and practical. With high-level recommendations and best practice examples, the APSRG provides policy makers, Parliamentarians, manufacturers, logistics providers and waste companies with vital guidance and proves that a more sustainable supply chain is within reach.