New ESA Chairman sets out his vision

Dr Stewart Davies, the new Chairman of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), a trade association representing members of the UK’s resource and waste management industry, and CEO of hazardous waste treatment company Augean Plc, today outlined his priorities for the ESA at its annual lunch.

The event was held at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square and featured the journalist Jon Snow as its guest speaker.

New ESA Chairman sets out his vision

Davies will be taking over from Mr Peter Gerstrom who, in his closing speech, laid out the major factors currently affecting the waste and recycling industry. These were:

  • technology and innovation continuing to drive new approaches in managing our resources;
  • the government integrating resource efficiency into its industrial strategy;
  • the impact of Brexit on policy drivers and ongoing uncertainty; and
  • the role of extended producer responsibility in driving resource efficiency.

During the course of Davies’s inaugural speech, he stated that the ESA’s main concern would continue to be to promote the industry’s priorities with government, while supporting ESA members in a timely and relevant fashion, particularly in the fight against waste crime.

Davies underlined the necessity that the ESA set a strong strategic direction for the industry and lobby the government to include circular economy thinking in its upcoming ‘25 Year Environmental Plan’ and ‘Industrial Strategy’, as well as pushing markets for recycled products, providing a greater ‘pull factor’ in the recycling market.

Furthermore, he sought to emphasise the ESA’s capacity to improve technical regulations and make them work better for operators, continuing protect the environment, and aiding the realisation of more efficient economies of scale.

Finally, Davies underlined the importance of producer responsibility and its ability to ease financial pressures on local authorities and drive resource efficiency.

New Chairman “delighted” at new role

At the close of his inaugural speech, Davies said: “At the start of the year, there appeared to be a strategy vacuum facing our industry in England. As we now approach the end of the year, there are multiple opportunities to feed into governmental strategic thinking. All of these provide us with a platform to set out the role for making better use of waste as a resource, strengthening the economy whilst improving environmental outcomes.”

“I am delighted to be taking over the Chairmanship of the ESA at such an important time for our industry. The ESA has a vital role to play in helping the government join up its thinking on waste and resources, so that our member companies have a clear post-Brexit framework in which to bring forward a private sector‐led package of investment in new waste infrastructure worth £10 billion.”