ESA Annual Report sets out strategy for 2021 and beyond

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has today, Friday 27 November 2020, published a new Annual Report setting out the organisation’s strategy for 2021 and beyond, while also reflecting on a pivotal year for the industry in 2019/20.

The Annual Report sets out the ESA’s three new strategic priorities – De-carbonising the sector; setting and achieving high operational standards; and driving performance by working with the wider sector to achieve a circular economy.

In addition to outlining ESA activity under each of the three broad strategic priorities, the report specifically introduces the ESA’s commitment to creating and delivering a new Net-Zero Carbon Strategy for the sector – work which is being led by the newly formed ESA Climate Change Working Group comprised of sustainability and environmental experts from within ESA member companies as well as external consultants. It also provides an overview of the ESA’s new Standard for Responsible Export, which launched earlier this year (and which was welcomed by Defra Minister, Rebecca Pow) in a bid to ensure recyclable materials are handled and treated properly overseas.

The report reflects upon the vital work undertaken by the ESA and its members, working alongside Government, to successfully keep recycling and waste services moving during the pandemic – the worst of which struck at the end of the reporting year, running from April 2019 to March 2020.

Finally, the report presents a “yearbook” of ESA member projects for 2019/20, demonstrating the scale of investment ESA members are already making in the UK towards a circular economy.

Phil Piddington, Chairman of the ESA, said: “It has been both a challenging and exciting time for our sector during this reporting period. The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, but I am proud of the way ESA members and the wider sector have continued to deliver vital services under tough conditions and I would like to once more thank all of the frontline staff for making this happen.

The policy landscape for our sector is presently undergoing exciting upheaval, but all of the interventions proposed under the Resources and Waste Strategy, and policies being pursued by the devolved administrations, must work together in harmony to drive the right outcomes and the devil will be in the detail. This is why it is essential that ESA members continue to channel their collective expertise and maintain a strong voice through the ESA at this pivotal moment.”

Jacob Hayler, ESA Executive Director, said: “The Resources & Waste Strategy (RWS) has understandably been placed on the back-burner this year, as the sector and wider country continues to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, but it must resume apace next year if we are to deliver on the UK Government’s sustainability and resource-efficiency ambitions, independent from the European Union, for 2030 and beyond.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the UK, and the ESA’s primary focus for 2021 will be to ensure that this vital policy framework is resumed with all of its original fervour and designed in a way that supports investment and delivery by our members.”

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