28 February 2024

UK to lead UN-backed centre on sustainable resource management

The UK will establish the world’s first UN-backed International Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Resource Management in the Circular Economy.

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Opening formally in April 2024, the centre will combine academic expertise and scientific research across five institutions: University College London (UCL), University of Exeter, Brunel University London, Swansea University and the British Geological Survey.

The five participating institutions have together contributed £1.85mln to fund the centre’s technical activities.

This coalition will leverage its expertise to explore circularity in areas such as metals, construction and critical minerals to develop effective data, technological innovation, finance models and policy.  

This will embrace sustainable approaches to the circular economy and resource efficiency to enable carbon reduction and the transition to a greener future.

The UK will also help countries across the world to maximise the environmental and economic opportunities the circular economy offers.

UK Resources Minister, Robbie Moore, says 'This is real recognition of the UK’s global leadership in sustainable resource management and testament to Britain’s world-leading academic expertise.

'We are delighted to host this centre, enabling our cutting-edge UK academics to develop the tools and research that will help countries across the world seize the opportunities of the circular economy, leading the way in the transition to a greener future.'

This announcement will help drive the government's programme, launched last year, to use fewer new resources, drive up the repair and reuse of existing materials, and increase recycling.

The programme – Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste – brings together a range of measures backed by government funding to keep products and materials in circulation for as long as possible and at their highest value.