Over 90% of the land area in Wales is used for agriculture and forestry5. We also have significant freshwater and marine fisheries where ensuring the sustainability of fish stocks is a significant issue: for example, there has been a marked reduction in the abundance of salmon in our rivers over recent years1.
Local authority recycling rates have risen from 52% in 2012/13 to 60% in 2015/16, and they are now the highest in the UK. Wales is also ranked second in Europe and third in the world for recycling1.
Electricity generated from renewables has more than tripled since 2007, reaching 20% of all electricity produced in Wales by 20151. Continuing to increase the proportion of renewable energy is a priority for the future with the Welsh Government’s aspirations for 70% of electricity provided by renewables in Wales by 2030, with at least 1 giga watt of renewable energy capacity locally owned.
NRW supports industry and agriculture through its advice and regulation to reduce environmental impacts, control pollution and reduce the risk of incidents. While some businesses already operate sustainably, there are more opportunities for green growth, benefiting industry itself, the natural environment and the people of Wales.
Wales will be seen as a great place to do business, with organisations understanding SMNR, adopting sustainable working practices and appreciating that they are operating as a part of resilient ecosystems. This will benefit not only the businesses themselves but also the people of Wales and the natural environment, which will be viewed as an essential asset. Businesses will be encouraged to become accredited and are recognised for their approach.
The spectrum of businesses in Wales ranges from traditional industry and forestry, fishing and farming to tourist operators and social enterprises. In future, development planning will ensure that new businesses are located where they have the minimal environmental impact.
Wales will be seen to have a competitive advantage as it embraces green growth. New sectors, new products, new research and innovation in existing industries will be encouraged. Wales will make best use of natural resources and emerging technologies, while at the same time understanding, avoiding and mitigating against impacts on the natural environment and looking for enhancement opportunities. Resources will be used efficiently, and renewable energy production will have increased significantly with a proportion of renewable energy capacity locally owned. Wales will be working towards a circular economy – where resource use is reduced and materials are re-used, recycled and finally used to produce energy where possible.
NRW will have strong links with industry, providing advice and working together before and during the planning process to develop good sustainable businesses and technology. We will make full use of our regulatory powers – permitting and monitoring to check compliance and enforcement – to protect the natural environment and to ensure that legitimate businesses are not undermined.
We will support the development of alternative markets as well as PES and use our buying power to influence our suppliers and the wider public sector to encourage working towards a circular economy.
Lead by example
Working with our partners