With the recent election results adding yet more uncertainty to Britain’s future, one thing is clear: the UK now has an opportunity to lead the way in solving green issues. This is especially critical following the US president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. We must remember that environmental degradation is happening here and now. Far greater consideration needs to be given to how we maintain the planet and ensure we leave it in a better state than it is now for the next generation.
This will require changing mind-sets nationwide. But to do that businesses need to wake up to the fact that ethics matter alongside profits. In fact employees, and millennials in particular, increasingly want to work for businesses with a mission and strong values. Suppliers and customers also want to work with businesses that consider the greater good which is why so many more businesses are taking action to ensure they are seen as sustainable. It’s in their interest to do so.
However empowering business to get on board is one thing, but it’s also vital for our Government to take the lead so that the public follows. Whatever relationship the UK chooses to have with the European Union post Brexit, the Government must ensure it plays a leading global role on environmental protection and waste reduction. With the recent appointment of Michael Gove as the new Environmental Secretary, he must ensure that green issues are no longer pushed down the priority list as the Conservatives continually delay publishing its 25-Year Environment Plan. The UK now has an opportunity to create its own energy supply, invest more in renewable energy and recycle locally. Weeks ago, the UK in fact set a renewable energy record.
A unified green agenda can enable local councils to better manage waste and boost recycling rates. This reduces costs for businesses – something that should be prioritised. It will be up to the Government, businesses and the public to work together to push for more ambitious recycling targets, alternative sources of power and share best practice to accomplish the change that’s needed as we move into a new era for Britain.