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Brief Published: 4 Dec 2018

Sustainability Summit Advocates Monetising Waste


"We have to find ways of giving what we unhelpfully refer to as waste a proper value; we have to monetise it," argued the Prince of Wales at the inaugural Waste Wealth Summit in London on November 22. Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince of Wales's responsible business network, held the event to address the pressing issue of sustainable manufacturing and consumption.

Over 200 leaders from government, academia and business attended the summit, where BITC launched the Waste to Wealth Commitment. This requires brands to:

  • Work collectively towards doubling the UK's resource productivity and eliminating avoidable waste by 2030.
  • Set targets to improve the productivity of resources.
  • Redesign how resources are used in products, services and operations.
  • Collaborate across organisations, value chains and sectors.
  • Reconvene and report on progress annually to share learning and demonstrate results.

The Prince of Wales, an advocate for sustainable practices, delivered the keynote speech at the summit. He focused on the need to integrate and celebrate waste materials in the production cycle: "We have become very good at making things, now we have to get much better at unmaking and remaking them."

BITC estimates that UK businesses could save up to £7.2bn ($9.2bn) by improving the productivity of energy and resources. At the summit, over 40 brands signed up to the commitment. Bringing businesses together to educate collectively and share findings and results is a canny way to encourage companies to be mindful of their energy and resource use.

Stylus has recently reported on businesses and designers committed to addressing the issue of sustainable production. To discover innovators pioneering new uses for waste materials, see our 10 Sustainable Colour & Material Influencers report. To find out more about how intelligent solutions are driving the circular economy, read our Sustainability Turns Smart report.