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Getting ready for the big resource efficiency kick-off

I’ve been thinking that the development of the Resource Efficient Scotland programme over the past few months has seemed a bit like pre-season before the big kick-off. 

Iain Gulland - Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland | 28 Feb 13

The planning and preparation has been careful, considered and growing in intensity and so perhaps it was no surprise that yesterday’s signing of the new contractor to  deliver the advice and support element of the programme from 1st April felt a little like the unveiling of a star striker ahead of the first game of the season.

The Energy Saving Trust-led consortium behind the winning bid offers us all a wealth of expertise and promise to match the weight of expectation there is for Resource Efficient Scotland. My Zero Waste Scotland team is excited at the prospect of working alongside new partners. It’s like we are ‘waiting in the tunnel’:  everyone is raring to go and the atmosphere is now definitely buzzing. But like all teams we will be judged not by past performances but by what we do now – and that means delivering real change for businesses and public sector organisations across the country.

There will be challenges, undoubtedly.  What we are doing is a ‘first’ in terms of bringing together support on material, energy and water efficiency. It’s also ambitious in scale, aiming to support 10,000 organisations over the next two years.  And we want to keep things moving forward, not just providing generic advice, but also working with the most forward-thinking organisations to break new ground, uncover new ideas and support innovation.  We’ll work to shape strategic approaches to specific resource issues and opportunities within individual sectors.

The benefits are clear:  in a future likely to be impacted by resource constraints and prices, implementing resource efficiency measures now will make organisations more resilient, competitive and ultimately more sustainable in order to further prosper their workforce, their locality and their bottom line.

Direct savings of up to £2.9 billion are thought to be available to Scottish organisations through greater resource efficiency.  In many cases all that is needed are some obvious and straightforward changes to the ‘business as usual’ approach. What Resource Efficient Scotland will offer is akin to that the best team managers and coaches provide: advice, support, guidance, best practice examples, hands-on consultancy, right through to implementation; all informed by evidence and innovation.

Like all successful teams we need to listen to the supporters.  So we want to hear from trade bodies, agencies and business leaders on how the programme is performing and how we can benefit from their support. There might not be any cups or championships to win but our potential prize is even better: there are huge economic gains for Scotland to realise. To achieve these, Resource Efficient Scotland will need to remain relevant, accessible and add value. If not, no one will come to us and all of the recent signings will be for nothing.  It’s only five weeks away, but I can’t wait for the season to start.

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