A new ‘enlightenment’ is upon us

Yesterday I helped officially launch the new Resource Efficient Scotland Programme, which combines support for energy, water and materials efficiency all in one place. 

Written By Iain Gulland - Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland  |  17 Apr 13

Joining the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead Lady Susan Rice and Cllr Stephen Hagan of CoSLA in Edinburgh for the event, it was great to have such stellar support. 

Starting the new programme has had its challenges but has been incredibly rewarding especially because so many partner organisations contributed so positively to its development. To be honest it has been a tremendous team effort, demonstrating once again that there is a clear commitment across Scotland’s business-facing agencies to maximise the all too obvious economic and environmental benefits from the correct use of not just our own natural resources but the global ones too. 

As we’ve been working towards the moment of launch, we’ve needed to consider that being resource efficient for one business or organisation may mean adopting measures and practices that are particular to their needs and these may differ from the business down the road. It’s not about offering a one size fits all solution.

We have also recognised that many businesses have already started out on the resource efficiency journey and have formed plans and undertaken some actions already. Again these businesses have different needs some of which are around implementation of measures rather than basic awareness raising.

And there are businesses who have well and truly ‘got the bug’ and are trailblazing resource efficiency for maximum impact, pushing the limits of what is possible both technically and operationally. 

So the new programme aims to address all of these needs by offering tailored tools and advice via on-line services, one-to-one visits, events and publications. Implementation support which will provide capacity to make things happen so there is little or no business disruption, as well as a dynamic innovation and R&D element to help bring forward the next generation of technology and business thinking.

It is this last part which offers even more excitement. The realisation of the £2.9 billion savings to businesses in Scotland is tangible and the economic benefit is surely multiplied from the innovation and entrepreneurship which should naturally follow as the market transforms. 

Supporting this here in Scotland will be a crucial part of the Resource Efficient Scotland programme so that we become a centre of excellence, recognised internationally for developing new products and systems which then allow that knowledge to be exported globally. Just as we are doing in renewables and life sciences. 

My vision is a Scotland which will not only be the most resource efficient nation in the world but one which is leading the new thinking, inspiring others to follow. 

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