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 food waste

Contribute to relevant UK Voluntary Agreements, for example:

See this guide's pages on design, reuse, repair, remanufacture and recycling. All of these contribute to waste prevention, helping to ensure the economy can grow without increasing our resource use.

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


Further information


In this Guideline

What is a circular economy?

Using fewer resources

Managing your waste for a circular economy - recycling and beyond

Designing you product, service or business model for a circular economy


Repairing goods

Remanufacturing- and refurbishing


Protecting biodiversity and regenerating natural systems

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