Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Using fewer resources

Using fewer resources for sustainable development

The first priority in a more circular economy is to avoid unnecessary waste and use fewer resources in the first instance.

There is evidence that in terms of the UK’s footprint we use the equivalent of 2.9 planets to provide the resources we use and to absorb the waste we produce.

This demand is already placing the environment under pressure.

A more circular approach should:

  • minimise the resources required in producing goods and services
  • minimise waste
  • use recycled materials
  • change business model to a service/rental where possible.

How this can benefit your business

  • reduces your manufacturing costs
  • reduces your cost of waste disposal to landfill
  • increases your competitiveness
  • reduces your impact on the environment.

What you can do

Getting started

Take the first steps on your cost saving journey to resource efficiency

Review your processes

Reduce your waste

Reduce your food waste

Contribute to relevant UK Voluntary Agreements

Use advice about resource efficiency and free practical help from a range of organisations.

  • Other topics covered in this guide (design, reuse, repair and remanufacture) will also contribute to waste prevention, helping to ensure the economy can grow without increasing our resource use.

Further information

RES: Make a Resource Efficiency Pledge today

ZWS: Resource efficiency case studies

Zero Waste Scotland: Love Food hate waste

WRAPNI: case studies – waste prevention

WRAPNI: see pages about waste prevention & minimisation

WRAPNI: Love food hate waste

Ellen Macarthur Foundation Circulyrics tool

In this Guideline

What is the circular economy?

Using fewer resources

Managing your waste for the Circular Economy

Designing your products, and your business model to support the Circular Economy


Repairing goods



Protect and regenerate natural systems

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