The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) has analysed the contents of the the government’s recently unveiled waste and resource management strategy to assess its impact on the FM sector.
The UK is looking to position itself as a leader in resource efficiency thanks to a new strategy by the government that adds developing sustainability to the agenda, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove also outlining plans for a low carbon economy.
Reviewing the government’s 146-page waste and resource strategy document, the IWFM found that the most likely impact on most workplace and FM professionals include:
• Eliminating avoidable business, industrial, chemical and household waste by 2030
• Developing the Business in the Community’s Circular Office initiative to change the way workplaces are designed, used and operated to eliminate waste and create more efficient, resilient spaces which contribute to the long-term sustainability of businesses, the environment and the wider economy
• Increasing resource efficiency and minimising waste in the built environment sector through developments such as digitalisation, off-site manufacturing and innovative construction materials and techniques
• Extending mandatory corporate reporting on resource usage to include reuse, repair and recycling; moving from weight-based to impact-based targets
• Ensuring, if necessary through legislation, that businesses present recycling and food waste separately from residual waste for collection and make information available on what is recycled
• Reducing food surplus and waste through dedicated strategies for schools, hospitals and other public sector institutions, with mandatory targets and annual reporting
• A deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers and measures to reduce the environmental impacts of disposable cups
• More sustainable government procurement to achieve the best whole life value for money with social value, including environmental considerations, at the heart of policy
• Improving the transportation, management and description of waste by making businesses more accountable for their waste when it is passed along the resource chain
• Regulations forcing those responsible for producing environmentally damaging materials to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their waste
In terms of next steps, the IWFM says it will provide an update through their Good Practice Guide on Recycling and Waste Management in early 2019, considering the practical and legal implications for workplace and facilities management professionals.