Prince Charles addresses green event, with brands such as Sainsbury’s signing up

Prince Charles, patron of Business in the Community, at its Waste to Wealth Summit. Picture: Tristan Fewings - WPA Pool/Getty.
Prince Charles, patron of Business in the Community, at its Waste to Wealth Summit. Picture: Tristan Fewings - WPA Pool/Getty.
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Major brands including Sainsbury’s, Deloitte and Unilever have signed up to an initiative looking to help double the nation’s resource productivity and reduce avoidable waste by 2030 to prevent “catastrophic” climate change.

Business in the Community - The Prince’s Responsible Business Network has united 200 leaders from business, government, academia and civil society at the Waste to Wealth Summit today, at Veolia Southwark’s integrated waste management facility in London, that was attended by Prince Charles.

Burger King, European Metal Recycling, Interface, JLL, Nestle, Sainsbury’s and Sodexo have been announced as Waste to Wealth Champions, who will develop and deliver innovation hubs to identify challenges, create roadmaps and start to develop innovative solutions, reporting annually to the network.

Founding signatories of the Waste to Wealth Commitment include Bupa, The Co-operative Bank, Deloitte, Greggs, Heineken, Iceland, Lloyds Banking Group, Marks & Spencer, PwC, Sky, Thames Water, Toyota, Unilever and Veolia.

Such commitment by business leaders is billed as “supercharging” the UK Industrial Strategy’s 2050 targets and comes as consumers increasingly seek out action from business that allows them to more easily reduce waste.

Indeed, moneyback incentives to encourage the return of used packaging has the strongest support among UK adults at 82 per cent, closely followed by dedicated places to return used packaging (80 per cent).

Prince Charles delivered a keynote address at the summit, addressing the urgent need to tackle the resource issue in the UK and explain why business is best placed to meet this challenge.

By signing the Waste to Wealth Commitment, businesses recognise the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conclusion that we only have 12 years to change our relationship with the resources we use to avoid devastating climate change and restore the health of our environment.

Commitment actions include redesigning how resources are used in products, services and operations, and reconvening and reporting on progress annually to share learning and demonstrate results.

Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky and chairman of Business in the Community, said: “The clock is ticking. If businesses were presented with a similarly concerning outlook on the state of their markets, the competency of their core products or the future of their customer base, they would use all the power and influence at their disposal to change track. To pivot in order to secure their future. That is why today we are calling on business leaders to use these same skills, mentality and approach to tackle the environmental challenge before us.”

Amanda Mackenzie, chief executive of Business in the Community, said The Prince’s Responsible Business Network is examining “how we make the most of critical resources and reduce all waste, ideally not producing it in the first place… while the UK Industrial Strategy deadline of doubling our nation’s resource productivity and eliminating avoidable waste by 2050 is ambitious, our responsible business network can help accelerate progress and aim to achieve this by 2030”.

She added: “Businesses can start by finding out what their resource footprint is. Let’s tackle this critical problem together and lead the world in doing so.”