Report Highlights Growing Economic Importance of Environmental Services, and Identifies a Large ‘Hidden Sector’
A new report by UK CEED on the importance of the environmental service sector to the UK economy has been published as part of a Government initiative on innovation in the services sector. An earlier report by UK CEED for government valued the ‘official’ UK environmental goods and services sector at over £25 billion – which is forecast to rise to £46 billion by 2015 – and employs over 400,000 people in more than 17,000 companies.
The new report highlights the significance of environmental services within the sector and also identifies a large ‘hidden’ resource efficiency sub-sector positioned between products at the end of their first life, and their ultimate disposal as waste – remanufacturing alone has a UK turnover of £5 billion, for example.
Environmental services has the potential to be one of the most dynamic areas of the economy over the next decade, but – as a sector which is driven by Government regulations – the report identifies the need for targeted assistance to overcome some critical challenges.
The challenges include the need to develop new know-how and service solutions; to create large-scale physical infrastructures (especially for handling and processing waste); to scale-up and deploy many physical technologies; to develop and deploy new ICT-based methods; and to create new kinds of economic arrangements.