The panel: Jill Duggan, director of policy at CISL and director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, Colin Church, independent consultant and former director of environmental quality at Defra, Quentin Drewell, UK circular economy lead at Accenture; and Angela Francis, senior economist at Green Alliance. Jessica Shankleman, renewable energy reporter at Bloomberg News, chaired the discussion.
Jonny Hazell, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, opened the event.
Jill Duggan spoke first on the importance of increased resource productivity to the international competitiveness of UK manufacturing, such as through building a new business model for scrap steel.
Colin Church suggested that increased resource efficiency, in particular high quality and repairability, should be a cross-cutting theme within the industrial strategy.
Quentin Drewell discussed the opportunity for emergent technologies to reshape business and increase resource productivity, as has already been witnessed with new models within the sharing economy.
Finally, Angela Francis spoke on the practice of industrial strategy and the role of government in supporting businesses to increase resource efficiency, and ensure the future competitiveness of UK manufacturing.
Questions from the audience included whether an increase in landfill tax could stimulate the circular economy.
Another audience member asked how we can stop the UK from becoming a 'dump' for low quality and toxic products banned by the EU after Brexit. Quentin Drewell said the country should strive to be a circular economy pioneer and resource efficiency leader.