A new independent task force seeking to outline new opportunities for UK businesses to drive green economic growth has been launched today by the boss of retail giant Kingfisher Group.
The Ecosystem Markets Task Force (EMTF) is headed by Kingfisher CEO Ian Cheshire and will consist of industry experts and leaders from a number of varied sectors, tasked with identifying ways in which companies including retailers can improve the environment in an economically viable way.
Cheshire commented: “The challenge for the task force, as I see it, is to find new ways for business to profit from valuing and protecting nature.”
“It is an opportunity for business to contribute and make recommendations to the Government and to shape the agenda. We need to be radical and innovative in our thinking and explore areas where businesses can gain real, measureable benefit as the UK moves towards a green economy.”
Earlier this year, Cheshire appointed a ‘youth board’ to Kingfisher-owned DIY retailer B&Q, offering young people the chance to develop boardroom skills while identifying and resolving challenges facing the business such as sustainability.
Cheshire is to speak at the launch of the new initiative, taking place today at the headquarters of Nomura in the City of London, alongside Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Spelman argued that UK businesses could save around £23 billion annually by using raw materials, energy and water more efficiently.
She added: “The Ecosystems Market Task Force, which begins its work today, will help UK businesses get ahead of the curve and help us grow our economy more sustainably.”
“If businesses can reduce waste, develop sustainable alternatives or recover value from existing products they will not only help their bottom line, but also benefit the environment.”
After completing its research, the task force will report back to the Government in early 2013 through the Green Economy Council.