Businesses across the UK have the potential to save up to £18bn a year by taking steps to reduce waste

Action being taken in areas including the need to reform public procurement

93 per cent believe recycling is important

Opera Solutions report gives highest estimate yet of potential savings

Councils will provide housing benefit, council tax, business rates and benefit fraud investigations

Savings made through changes including release of assets and staff redeployment

Targets to save money include preventing three million tonnes of waste

Only 27 per cent of local authorities are sharing back office HR and finance functions

Outsourcing is part of HR and IT services joint venture with Capita

Savings expected to reach more than £3bn a year

Green Deal allows people to access £10,000 upfront to pay for energy efficiency work

Proposed changes include lowering the threshold of the Business Growth Fund to allow more SMEs into the scheme