Category Archives: Industrial strategy

How not to solve plastic pollution

plastic bottles square“As petroleum came to the relief of the whale,” said an 1878 promotional pamphlet for the world’s first industrial plastic, “so has celluloid given the elephant, the tortoise, and the coral insect a respite in their native haunts, and it will no longer be necessary to ransack the earth in pursuit of substances which are constantly growing scarcer.” Read more

Three reasons why the government should help us do more with waste

plastic-631625_1280UK recycling has a problem. Over the years, we have become reliant on the Chinese market to take our low quality recycling. But China doesn’t want our waste anymore. In fact, it says it no longer wants any “foreign garbage”, as shipments of low quality material from countries like the UK have “polluted China’s environment seriously.” Read more

Three things the Industrial Strategy should now do to raise productivity

Siemens wind turbines Hull_ChrisBentley_FlickrGeorge Osborne gave Philip Hammond what is known in sport as a hospital pass: an economic plan based on the UK returning to pre-2008 productivity growth of two per cent per annum without the investment or strategy to make it happen.  The Office of Budget Responsibility’s figures show we actually got paltry productivity growth of 0.2 per cent growth in 2016 and the forecast for 2017 is 0.0 per cent. Read more

Let’s use the digital revolution for resource efficiency to raise UK productivity

blue geometric  shape abstract technology backgroundThis post is by Angela Francis, chief economist at Green Alliance, and Caterina Brandmayr, policy analyst at Green Alliance.

UK productivity hasn’t grown for nine years. Investment in digitalisation, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, is one way to kickstart the economy and end economic stagnation. Read more

Will we get an industrial strategy for the 2050s or the 1950s?

conveyer beltIn 2014, Dunlop Systems and Components relocated from a leaky old factory in Holbrook to a highly efficient new factory in 2014.  At the same time the company fundamentally redesigned the high pressure steam processes used in making its air suspension components, saving the business 67 per cent on energy and 38 per cent on water use.  This strategic approach to resource efficiency turned around a failing company to become a thriving domestic and export business providing high quality jobs in Coventry.

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What Dieter Helm’s review and the industrial strategy might miss

2143563816_27d654bf2b_b.jpgNot all of the ten ‘pillars’ of the industrial strategy green paper will make it into the white paper expected by the end of this year.  Civil servants working on the final strategy say the innovation, skills, place, business and infrastructure pillars are the ones likely to remain and the content of the affordable energy and clean growth pillar will be embedded across the strategy.   If that can be done well it will better than having a standalone chapter, but if it is done badly, it will be a disaster for the UK’s low carbon transition.

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Resource efficiency will improve UK competitiveness

Paul Ekins (c) SERI polfreeThis post is by Professor Paul Ekins OBE, director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London.

There are many reasons to increase resource efficiency in an economy like the UK’s. Among them are the need to reduce pressure on natural resources in a world with growing populations and economies; to reduce the vulnerability to imported material’s supply shocks and price volatility; and to avoid the environmental impacts of natural resource extraction, even where they occur outside the UK. Read more

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