Resource Efficient Scotland officially launches

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead launching the Resource Efficient Scotland service earlier today

The Scottish Government has today (18 April) officially launched its Resource Efficient Scotland (RES) service, which it says ‘could save billions and protect our environment’.

The official RES Twitter page today quoted Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, as saying: “[Today’s] launch is an important stage in Scotland’s journey towards zero waste… The benefits of resource efficiency are real and tangible.”

Set up as part of a £7 million annual project aimed at improving Scottish use of resources, the £3 million government funded contract for the service was awarded to a consortium led by the Energy Saving Trust in February.

The advice and support service was set up to help Scottish businesses ‘reduce energy, water and raw materials costs’ and offers ’free support, training and access to funding to help… implement resource efficiency measures’. This includes advice on finance and how to gain access to it.

In addition to this, RES provides a series of sector-specific services for industries that the Scottish Government believes have ‘significant energy saving potential’, including construction, food and drink, hospitality, textiles, chemicals, the public sector and manufacturing.

The final element of the programme is a service to monitor and evaluate workstreams ‘leading to the continual development and improvement of the Resource Efficient Scotland programme’.

It is hoped the service will help save Scottish business around £7,000 each, or £2.9 billion as a whole.

Resource efficiency ‘could save £2.9 billion a year’

Speaking at the launch of RES earlier today, Lochhead (right) said: “Resource efficiency – being smarter in how we use valuable resources like energy, water, and raw materials – could save businesses and the public sector up to £2.9 billion a year, making a significant contribution to sustainable economic development in Scotland and protecting our environment.

“That is why, for the first time, we are bringing together support into a one-stop-shop offering advice on using energy, water and raw materials. This will make it easier for Scotland’s businesses, and public and voluntary sector organisations to access practical, on-the-ground support to use resources more efficiently, helping them to make even bigger savings and offering longer-term benefits for global competitiveness, and I would urge them to seize this opportunity.”

RES replaces the separate advice services that were run by Zero Waste Scotland, the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust.

‘Targeted initiatives’ and free advice

Businesses in Scotland can use the service by contacting ZWS, who will run the programme and provide free online and telephone advice. On-site consultancy can also be provided.

Director of Zero Waste Scotland and the Resource Efficient Scotland programme Iain Gulland, said: “The new programme is far-reaching and can offer support at different levels depending on what a business or a specific sector requires. For individual companies it can provide accessible online guidance, telephone support as well as one-to-one on-site consultancy. But it will also be engaging with key sectors to understand common opportunities, developing solutions and implementing actions together.

“The focus will be on implementation not just advising on what needs to be done but helping those who want to take action – take action.

“I would call on all businesses and public sector organisations in Scotland today to check out the support on offer through Resource Efficient Scotland and see what more they can put in place to be more resource efficient, and in doing so, help their bottom line.”

(L-R) Cllr Stephen Hagan, Richard Lochhead MSP, Iain Gulland and Lady Susan Rice at the RES launch today

Support from industry and local authorities

Various industry and local authority groups have also welcomed the scheme. Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland and Member of the 2020 Climate Group, Lady Susan Rice said: "Delivering an economy based on secure and sustainable energy is the major challenge for Scotland. We want to see businesses here play their part in taking us on the journey to a resource efficient economy.

“The launch of the new Resource Efficient Scotland programme provides an immediate opportunity for all of Scotland’s businesses to get involved. Waste has to be seen as a resource, so we wholeheartedly support the drive towards a circular economy and all the benefits that brings. Moving towards a resource efficient economy will enable us to utilise our natural resources and benefit the Scottish economy.”

Development, Economy and Sustainability Spokesman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) Councillor Stephen Hagan added: “Local government has a big role to play in taking Scotland on the journey towards a circular economy.

“Scottish local authorities have carbon management plans and are looking for the best way to deliver efficiencies that will provide carbon emissions savings alongside significant financial savings and clear community and low carbon economy benefits. COSLA welcomes the Resource Efficient Scotland programme and looks forward to taking an active part in its role of making further and faster progress on resource efficiency for Scotland’s communities.”

Businesses interested in using the service should contact ZWS on 0808 808 2268 or visit the Resource Efficient Scotland website.