We Must Make Circular Economy “Leap Of Faith” – Liz Goodwin

09-03-16-liz-goodwinSpeaking yesterday at an industry conference, WRAP CEO, Liz Goodwin, stated that this year must be the one in which the circular economy is delivered on the ground.

Addressing delegates at the Resource event, Goodwin, who leaves WRAP in June, said we must take a “leap of faith” and that we, the industry, must help convince businesses, small and large, that the circular economy can make a difference.

“Right now, WRAP is working with several major brands and retailers on new business models,” Goodwin said. “Today is a chance for me to share results from new business models with some of the SMEs we work with.”

On such business highlighted was Bandvulc, a re-treading and tyre management company. “Renowned for its innovation Bandvulc wanted to build a case for developing a sustainable business model. Working with WRAP, it developed a service lease model for delivery fleet van tyres,” Goodwin explained.

“In practice it provides tyre management and support services to a fleet of vans using its own retreaded tyres, which when they wear out are recovered, retread and refitted to the vans through the life of the contract. They sell in effect a van mileage service, not tyres.

“This created a new business model, new market, bringing new revenue, while saving valuable resources. Bandvulc’s vanvulc tyre service has generated new revenue in excess of £4m in the first 3 years. The model also provides significant environmental savings, conserving finite raw materials and reducing carbon emissions.

“So far the Vanvulc tyre service has also sold half a million retread van tyres and Bandvulc expects this to rise to 1.5m next year. As well as the financial benefits, the service has so far avoided 300 tonnes of C02 and 70 tonnes of rubber going to landfill.

“Bandvulc’s circular leap of faith is paying off,” she concluded.

Moving On

Liz also spoke about her decision to leave WRAP in the summer, describing it as her one “leap of faith”.

“If you told me 9 years ago that our work would not only change business practices but visions too, I’m not sure I would have believed it… but it’s true,” she said. “Whilst it’s impossible to mention all the things I’m proud of, right up there is our work to tackle food waste. It’s the one area that no matter where I go, people remark on.”

She highlighted the Courtauld Commitment, adding “there is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world” and that WRAP was “very excited” by the Courtauld Commitment 2025 work.

“I’m also proud of our developing work around clothing and electricals. They will be a big focus for WRAP going forward. In time I believe they could match our work on food in terms of its positive impact,” she added.

On the future for WRAP, she added: “Our work to bring greater consistency to household waste and recycling collections in England is the next step,” praising the work and passion of Defra Minister Rory Stewart to help make this happen.

Success in the long term will require “a leap of faith from the many not the few,” however, was her conclusion.



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