As circular economy experts, Resource Futures has developed a proven niche service to its clients to help them understand and strengthen their business case for new and evolving product and services in terms of their carbon footprint.

Full and formal life cycle analysis that will stand up to scrutiny in the public domain is notoriously costly and data-heavy. However, for internally reported data, we typically find that our clients are satisfied with a relatively informal, quicker, and cheaper approach, but which still conforms to ‘lifecycle thinking’. The appropriate approach is something we discuss up-front with our clients.

Such a fit-for-purpose approach is helpful for simple ballpark outputs and rapidly exploring the potential impact of high-level system, materials changes, process changes.

The benefits:

  • Sense-checking initial hypotheses that a new product or service will be ‘lower-carbon’;
  • Attracting investor or public funding for later in-depth product development;
  • Avoiding unintended negative outcomes of product or system changes;
  • Identifying carbon ‘hotspots’ which can be remedied at an early stage.

Our carbon foot-printing services

  • Compare a traditional linear value chain (manufacture, use, dispose) with a more circular one (manufacture, use, prepare for reuse / recycle, use again…) for the same product;
  • Indicate the ‘hidden’ carbon savings up the supply chain from putting less waste in the bin;
  • Explain complex and nuanced environment in a tangible way to a non-specialist audience, e.g. “Recycling X food cans is equivalent to saving the exhaust carbon emissions from X cars in a year”.

We are often commissioned to turn our carbon calculations and analysis into user-friendly Excel-based tools so that clients can generate further calculations in-house.

Our successful track record

  • Calculating changes in carbon ‘from farm to fork’ for a supermarket chain evaluating a reusable container system for its customers in place of single-use primary packaging;
  • Comparing options for reusing retail shoe hangars across a global supply chain;
  • Comparing the carbon footprints of alternative packaging and supply chain routes for deliveries of school milk;
  • Developing a simple carbon calculation tool to aid a product design team to optimise their returnable coffee cup and takeaway food container business model;
  • Calculating factlets for a local authority’s campaign aimed to encourage residents to recycle more;
  • Calculations and a tool to help a charity explain to its corporate donors of unwanted clothing what the environmental benefits have been above and beyond the monetary income the donations provide;
  • Calculating cost savings, break even points, and carbon savings for an SME entrepreneur who was developing a device to reduce wastage of beer in pubs;
  • Calculating Resource Futures’ own carbon footprint. Our calculations have been verified by a third party and used to offset our emissions, including Scope 3, via a Gold Stand offsetting scheme. Resource Futures has been carbon-neutral since 2015.


Why Resource Futures?

With 30-years’ experience and a team of over 40 specialists, Resource Futures has the expertise to help your business capitalise on the benefits of greater sustainability.

We work across the value chain to deliver trusted, quality outputs and insight to inform and support you key decisions. Minimising the impact of production and consumption through reduction, reuse and recycling.

What our clients say

We tasked Resource Futures with revising and writing a new waste strategy for Herefordshire Council.

They quickly understood our requirements, engaging a range of stakeholders to agree strategic principles, enabling us to set ambitious new strategic goals and transforming our service for the future.

It’s a strategy we’ve now successfully adopted, and we are delighted to be implementing.

Joni Hughes

Herefordshire Council

Resource Futures supported us from ideation through to finished product. The project required deep understanding of commercial and environmental datasets, environmental law and best practice.

The final product allows our customers to interrogate data, analyse and forecast results, and extract insights specific to their business needs. Delivering value and actionable insight for years to come.

Will Ghali


Resource Futures compiled insights into local reuse organisations and potential ways of working together to achieve more through reuse. Their report identified and highlighted factors experienced by existing groups which will help us shape initiatives that overcome barriers and explore opportunities.

It is an important piece of research that helps us improve reuse and repair across Somerset

Julie Searle

Somerset Waste Partnership

Working with Resource Futures has unlocked the power of The 2 Minute Foundation’s BEACH CLEAN app data.

We are now able to quantify findings and present powerful evidence to engage stakeholders. The individuals, groups and families taking part are contributing valuable information through citizen science that can be used for better decision making and direct efforts to keep our beaches free from litter.

Nicola Green

The 2 Minute Foundation

Resource Futures produced a thorough report, reflecting considerable stakeholder engagement, data collection and analysis.

The effort that has gone into this information gathering has been exceptional given the timing of this project over the pandemic.

The outputs are invaluable and will be used to inform actions which will make a real difference to our marine industries and environment.

Morag Campbell

Marine Scotland