The DIRECT (Dynamic Industry Resource Efficiency Calculation Tool) maps resources, namely the flow of materials, water, and energy into and out of a food or beverage company. The aim of DIRECT is to help food producers gain efficiency in managing their resources. DIRECT has been developed with industry in order to be effective and relevant. Businesses benefit from using DIRECT by reducing resource consumption and associated business costs. With DIRECT businesses:
-Understand and calculate the true cost of waste
-Understand and conduct a resource efficiency assessment
-Understand how to identify and calculate resource efficiency
-Understand the business value of improving resource efficiency
The results of mapping using DIRECT will enable baseline material, water, and energy efficiency to be calculated, and in turn the identification of major losses, wastes, and potential gains that are or could be made across the food business. These gains may be made by avoiding losses (such as waste streams), reducing material and energy use and saving the associated business costs (storage, processing, etc.). Innovation by developing and using new processes and technologies can support this resource and energy flow optimisation. This could result in more competitive businesses that innovate to ensure the efficient use of purchased materials, more time for plant and equipment utilisation, more effective use of business capital, less waste, and more efficient delivery of services. The DIRECT calculation module is hosted online, and a series of supporting resources such as tips, forum and case studies compliment the calculation module.