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Waste Management

Volume 471: debated on Friday 1 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the (a) Business Resource Efficiency and Waste and (b) Envirowise programmes in helping industry improve resource efficiency. (178612)

The Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme was set up to return £284 million raised from landfill tax back to businesses between 2005 and 2008 to improve their resource efficiency and to minimise the levels of waste that are unnecessarily sent to landfill.

Evaluation results for 2005-06, which are conservative, indicate that BREW saved businesses nearly £88 million and increased their sales by over £14 million. There were also reductions in water use, waste sent to landfill and the amounts of raw materials used by businesses. Many of the benefits will be seen beyond 2005-06. Work is currently under way to assess the impact of programme spending in 2006-07.

The Envirowise Programme is a key component of the overarching BREW programme. Envirowise aims to stimulate business to reduce their costs through reducing the amount of waste they produce.

Impact Evaluation results for the calendar year 2006 indicate that £85 million was saved by business from direct use of Envirowise. This figure is conservative and accounts only for savings that would not have been made without Envirowise. The savings figure is much greater when including companies who consider themselves to have been assisted by Envirowise. There have also been large reductions in water use and use of raw materials from business using the programme.