Business

Goodwin to step down as WRAP CEO

Goodwin to step down as WRAP CEODr Liz Goodwin has announced that she is to step down as CEO of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) at the end of June.

Goodwin leaves the charity after nine years in the role, saying that it is ‘the right time to pass to baton to someone else’.

Commenting on the move, Goodwin said: “My decision to stand down as CEO of WRAP was not an easy one to make. I love WRAP. I care deeply about the staff and the work we do.

“The organisation is in great shape – we are making excellent progress towards our vision, working with many key partners, we expect to receive continued funding from our main government funders and we're making good progress in developing other sources of income.

“I look forward to seeing WRAP continue to grow and prosper in future. I intend to continue working with WRAP in an indirect way and to continue to offer my knowledge and expertise gained over the past 14 years.”

Julie Hill, Chair of WRAP, said: “I would like to thank Liz for everything that she has done for WRAP since joining in 2001 and since taking over as CEO in 2007. Under Liz’s leadership, WRAP has delivered real and substantial change in the UK. It is now highly regarded both in the UK and internationally.

“To many people, WRAP and Liz are synonymous and she will be greatly missed. I know that Liz will continue to make a difference and WRAP looks forward to working with her in future.”

A statement released by the chairty this afternoon sates that Goodwin’s departure will see WRAP left 'in an excellent position financially' with government funding expected to be announced shortly, as well as a recent confirmation of an increase in funding for the WRAP Cymru from the Welsh Government.

Profile

Goodwin joined WRAP in 2001, becoming the programme’s first Director of Materials Programmes less than a year after its formation. After a further period as Director of Construction and Manufacturing, she was made CEO in 2007.

During her time in the role, Goodwin has overseen the launch and running of initiatives including Love Food Hate Waste, different phases of the Courtauld Commitment, the On-Pack Recycling Label, Love Your Clothes and the Electronic and Electricals Sustainability Action Plan.

In recent years she has also overseen WRAP’s transition to becoming a registered charity, following drastic cuts to its funding from the government by 72 per cent (£40.5 million) in the seven years running up to 2015/16. The process was finalised in December 2014.

In an interview with Resource last year, she said of WRAP, and the decision to become a charity: “If you think about our USP, it is the fact that we’ve got the expertise, and then we occupy this space between business and government and society, which allows us to bring the right people together to collaborate, to come up with solutions, and then we make the action happen on the ground.

“If we wanted to protect that model, then we needed to have a different approach, and becoming a charity helped us to still maintain that position.”

Before joining WRAP, Goodwin held a number of technical and production-related roles with construction firm ICI and Zeneca Agrochemicals before moving into the environmental field with agriculture company Syngenta. She holds a PhD in Chemical Physics.

In June 2015, she was awarded an OBE ‘for services to Business Resource Efficiency and the Environment’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

In her time as CEO, Goodwin has been a regular at the top end of the Resource Hot 100 list, only leaving the top 10 twice. In 2015 she placed 11, with one voter commenting that she was ‘still spearheading the industry’.

Asked what she’d like to see the industry achieve in the coming years, Goodwin told Resource: “In the UK context, I want the UK to use resources more sustainably. And that means working with businesses to improve their production and think more circular. In terms of us as end users it means reducing waste, and there are a whole range of things – from business models to product design and production, through to how we use products – that go into using resources more sustainably. Within that, [WRAP] then identified where we think we’ve got the skills, and so that’s food and drink, textiles, electrical, all underpinned by the resource management piece. So, that is our focus. 

“We do all need to work together to make this happen. And I understand that everyone is going through very difficult times, but WRAP wants to help.”

Reaction

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP:

Dr Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems and Technical Lead at WRAP:

More of Goodwin’s thoughts on her time at WRAP, the impacts of fluctuating markets on resource management and the future of the charity can be found in our feature interview with her from Resource 81.