Potočnik and Parminter to speak at Resourcing the Future 2017

Former European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the author of the original Circular Economy Package, and Liberal Democrat Lords environment spokesperson Baroness Parminter have been confirmed as the keynote speakers at June’s Resourcing the Future conference.

Taking place on 27-28 June, the programme for the annual event, organised by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the Resource Association (RA) and, for the first time, WRAP, will focus on the current challenges and the long-term outlook for the UK’s resource and waste management sector. 

The conference’s programme sets out four key themes – ‘50 per cent recycling and beyond’, ‘Sharing cost and responsibility across the supply chain’, ‘A UK vision for resource efficiency’ and ‘New delivery paradigms’. 

Baroness Parminter
Baroness Parminter, who served as Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England between 1998 and 2004, has also sat on a number of Parliament’s EU Environmental committees and has been the Lib Dem Lords spokesperson on the environment since 2015.

She will open the conference’s first day before issues including the next ‘big wins’ to increase recycling performance, and the ways in which a stronger Extended Producer Responsibility framework could both support the recycling ‘supply chain’ and incentivise waste prevention are explored by speakers including Viridor’s Commercial Director Paul Ringham; The Co-operative Group’s Environment Manager Iain Ferguson; Andrew Lappage, Head of Operations at North London Waste Authority; and Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability for Coca-Cola European Partners.

The talks will be followed by afternoon breakout sessions covering contract models, business waste service models and tackling waste crime.

Potočnik, who held the environment post under the Barroso Commission, was responsible for the first draft of the EU’s Circular Economy Package in 2014, which included a 70 per cent recycling and reuse target for 2030, a packaging recycling target of 80 per cent, and bans on the landfilling of recyclable plastics, metals, glass, paper and cardboard, and biodegradable waste by 2025.

Potočnik and Parminter to speak at Resourcing the Future 2017
Dr Janez Potočnik
Some of the targets were subsequently reduced by his successor Kermenu Vella, though the European Parliament has sought to return them to their original ‘ambition’. Potočnik, now Co-Chair of the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Resource Panel, will open the conference’s second day as negotiations between the European Commission, Parliament and Council begin to hammer out the final form of the Circular Economy Package.

The second day will focus on the long-term vision for the UK in the context of waste policy, as the risks and opportunities on the horizon. Speakers will include Helga Vanthournout, Senior Expert at McKinsey’s Center for Business and the Environment; WRAP Chief Executive Marcus Gover; Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business for M&S; and DS Smith UK Managing Director Mathew Prosser.

The closing plenary session will explore the different lenses through which resource efficiency and productivity might be delivered and supported, from the Smart City approach to regional economic development potential and from industrial growth and innovation through to new investment platforms.

Looking forward to the event, CIWM Chief Executive Dr Colin Church said: “This conference comes at a critical time. Significant areas of future UK environmental and economic and industrial policy are under development, but the backdrop is one of deep uncertainty.

“The aim of the conference is to rally the sector to debate how to drive further improvements in sustainable waste management and resource efficiency and better realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of doing so.”

More information about the Resourcing the Future 2017 conference can be found on the event’s website.

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