The next UK governments policy and legislative programme must prioritise the implementation of a circular economy strategy, according to a poll of 699 environment and sustainability experts by the IEMA
This involves keeping resources in use for as long as possible, and extracting the maximum value from them, before recovering and regenerating products/materials at the end of their service life.
Some 96% of those polled support this, and the same amount believe the government must place high importance on environment protection in trade deals, while 93% want all EU environmental law to apply in the UK after Brexit.
"It is essential that the next government puts in place a long-term, ambitious policy framework for transitioning the UK to a sustainable economy," IEMA chief policy advisor, Martin Baxter, said.
"As we make plans to leave the EU, high environmental quality standards must be maintained, enhanced and consistently enforced and used to create the conditions to support UK business exports."
The experts polled also gave a clear call for accelerating action to exceed carbon emissions reductions well before the target dates set out in the Climate Change Act.
In addition, 97% said the next government must prioritise resolving the environmental, health and well-being effects linked to air pollution - which is attributed to 40,000 deaths each year - with 45% saying this was critical.
Further key findings include:
97% believe the next government should place a high priority on driving sustainability into lifelong learning for the existing UK workforce
Two-thirds say that national needs must take priority on major infrastructure development where there is conflict between national and local issues
Over 92% support alternative measures beyond GDP in painting a picture of how well society is doing
81% support the UK retaining the UN international development aid target 0.7% or more of GDP
99% call for cross-party support on long-term sustainability agenda.
"The UK's sustainability experts have significant experience of delivering business and environmental performance improvement, and we look forward to working with the next government to maximise the opportunities from the transition to a sustainable economy," Baxter added.
Sign up to our free newsletter here and receive a weekly roundup of news concerning the actuarial profession