It is follow-up research to a previous project that explored the impact that resource efficiency could have on UK GHG emissions; extending this to examine the impact that these same resource efficiency strategies could have on the UK’s water use, reliance on specific materials and ecological footprint.

Along with water and the Ecological Footprint the specific materials chosen for this study were: iron ore and steel, wood and pulp products, plastics, fertilizers, aggregates, aluminium, gypsum and plaster products, copper, cobalt, lithium and rare earths (rare earths are a group of 17 metals that are used in specialist applications such as magnets, as catalysts in petrol, IT equipment, TVs, glass and ceramics).

This research has attempted a novel way of modelling the resource inputs, flows across industrial sectors and the final outputs. In this report, environmental issues have been modelled consistently at the macro-economic level, incorporating physical data into a model which tracks the movement of financial transactions of the UK economy. This innovation and some of the data quality on materials has made this approach challenging; however, all limitations and future recommendations are outlined in the report, along with all of the resource efficiency scenario results for the different indicators.
Download the report (726kb, external PDF link to WRAP)