WRAP and CREDS
This report unveils new insights on how resource efficiency and resource sufficiency can cut greenhouse gas emissions. Developed in collaboration with CREDS researchers at the University of Leeds, it offers a clear, practical roadmap which delivers quick wins.
Through eight complementary strategies the report sets out how changing the way we use materials as well as energy could deliver an additional 100 million tonnes (Mt) CO2e reduction in territorial emissions between 2023 and 2032, boosting savings from the UK government’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by over 50%. It could also contribute over 10% (89 MtCO2e) of the reductions required from the 5th to the 6th recommended Carbon Budgets.
However, the measures outlined in Net Zero: why resource efficiency holds the answers go beyond even this:
- Tackling food waste: With concerted effort, it could be possible to achieve a 58% per capita reduction in the wasting of food that could have been eaten by 2050, contributing up to 9.1 MtCO2e to the 6th Carbon Budget, and reducing cumulative emissions associated with UK food waste by 143 MtCO2e by 2050.
- Cutting calories and carbon at the same time: Moderating calorific intake to nutritionally recommended levels can deliver both health and climate benefits.
- Changing the carbon intensity of our diets: WRAP’s work on sustainable eating and reducing food waste demonstrates that real change can be delivered further and faster if a combined approach is taken.
- Switching from goods to services: By sharing a product with a number of people (changing use patterns), the resource productivity of the product will be increased and the consumption of natural resources in the production stage reduced.
- Making better use of existing products: Product lifetimes can be extended through simply making more use of the products we already have or passing them on to others to use.
- Designing lightweight products: Lightweighting packaging by 40% could contribute up to 2.7 MtCO2e to the 6th Carbon Budget.
- Recycling more in the UK: By increasing the amount of materials recycled and increasing the proportion of these recycled in the UK, greater carbon reductions can be achieved.
- Substituting materials: Across furniture, vehicles, construction and packaging, it is possible to substitute high carbon intensity materials with lower carbon intensity alternatives that are able to perform the same role.
WRAP and CREDS. 2021. Net Zero: why resource efficiency holds the answersOpens in a new tab. Banbury, Oxfordshire: WRAP.
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