Resource Hot 100 2023: Full List Revealed

Stuart Hayward-Higham, Chief Technical Development and Innovation Officer at waste management company SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, has been voted the winner of the 2022/23 Resource Hot 100 –’s annual poll of the recycling industry’s best, as decided by the sector itself. Thank you to everyone who took part.

Hot 100 header image

This year we saw a record number of vote submissions for the Hot 100 – over 4,000 more than last year – which itself serves as a reflection of the shifting momentum within the industry.

With Defra’s response to the consultation on consistency in England’s recycling system expected within the year and DRS and EPR changes also forthcoming, the industry is ramping up for a period of change. We are pleased to celebrate the individuals steering and preparing for this period within the Resource Hot 100.

Stuart Hayward-Higham – this year’s Resource Hot 100 winner – was the runner-up last year. Other familiar faces joining him from last year’s top ten include Recycling Lives director David Allen (remaining at fifth), SUEZ’s Adam Read (down three places to finish seventh position), and Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, Iain Gulland (down one place to tenth).

Anna Willetts, who came second, is an entirely new face in the Hot 100. Willetts is the President of CIWM and was described by voters as a ‘phenomenal ambassador’ for the resources and waste industry. Joining her as a completely new addition to the Hot 100 is Tracy Sutton, Founder and Lead Consultant at Root, who came eighth. Sarah Poulter, CEO of CIWM, has come sixth as re-entry on the list after not ranking last year. It is truly fantastic to see so many new women represented in the top ten of this year’s Hot 100 – especially when they are first time entrees. Another new nominee to the Hot 100 in the top ten is Joshua Doherty, editor of Let’sRecyle.

Innovation and Policy Director at Ecosurety, Robbie Staniforth, has made a significant leap from 70th on last year’s Hot 100 list to fourth place. Dominic Hogg, director of Equanimator, has moved up the ranking 12 places from 15th to third place. Chris Brown from Curry's jumped up several places from 51st last year to 13th. The same can be said for Dr Tracey Leghorn (33rd to 14th), Anna Scott (69th to 19th), and Debbie Hitchen (76th to 20th). Once again, it is inspiring to see so many women moving up the rankings and demonstrates the growing diversity in the industry.

The Resource Hot 100 is predominantly determined by the volume of unique public votes received by nominees. This quantitative view accounts for 80 per cent of final Hot 100 positions, and the remaining 20 per cent is the result of a qualitative assessment of sector impact, carried out by Resource Media.

Celebrating this year's winner

With new legislation transforming the sector quickly, architects of change such as Stuart Hayward-Higham are the key to keeping the industry stable whilst innovating.

Before becoming Chief Technical Development and Innovation Officer at SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK in January this year, Hayward-Higham was a Technical Development Director for the waste management company for close to 12 years. He has spent nearly 30 years with the company in a variety of roles, first starting in 1995 with BFI that was acquired by the company in 1998 when SUEZ was still known as SITA UK.

He has worked hard to make EPR, consistency, DRS, CCUS, carbon and other policy changes workable and accessible, helping the sector prepare for the necessary changes to come. His career has been focused on driving new understanding through data and working with the whole value chain to deliver novel solutions.

Stuart Hayward-Higham has always been at the forefront of change, helping clients manage transitions and make the very best out of UK waste legislation – for people and the planet. Voters praised his knowledge and called his enthusiasm ‘contagious’.

Incredibly humbled

Commenting on his win, Hayward-Higham said: “I am incredibly humbled considering the excellence of people who feature on the list every year and therefore so very grateful that those who voted should recognise me in this way.

“Our resilience and adaptability to change say to me that our sector can transform. As the world fights to reduce the greenhouse gases driving climate change and bring consumption within the limits of our planet’s resources, our sector plays a pivotal role in helping drive change.

“Not only do we have EPR, DRS and other packaging-focused policies to accommodate, we have carbon-based ETS, CCUS, and upstream and downstream carbon influencing to factor in. Finally, we need to help be the conductor of this complex orchestra of change and meet the fixed and aspirational targets of our customers. And, in order to form the best orchestra, we need to collaborate, not only as a sector but with partners across the value chain.

“I want to try to continue to make a positive difference, to bring my skills, knowledge and energy to whatever tasks need delivering. Be that through my work for SUEZ in helping keep them at the forefront of change or in my work with the myriad of committees, working groups and associations that build collective knowledge, network and foster collaborative working.

“The next decade in our sector will be transformational, with change impacting all aspects of our work. Bringing my skills to help SUEZ and the sector navigate their way through to success will be reward enough for me.”

We have been inspired by the great work being done and we trust you will be too.

Thank you to our Resource Hot 100 2023 sponsor, Ward Recycling, who has helped us shine a light on the great work being done in the sector this year.

. . .

(NE) - Completely new entry to the Hot 100

(RE) - Re-entry that didn't rank in 2022

Stuart Hayward-Higham
Stuart Hayward-Higham
Job title: Chief Technical Development and Innovation Officer
Company: SUEZ recycling and recovery UK
"Decoding complex policies, driving solutions like a waste oracle."
Anna Willetts
Job title: President
Company: CIWM
"A formidable environmental lawyer and compassionate leader."
Dominic Hogg
Job title: Director
Company: Equanimator
"He pushes boundaries with visionary thinking in the waste sector."
Robbie Staniforth
Job title: Innovation and Policy Director
Company: Ecosurety
"Taking Ecosurety to new heights with each thrilling career twist."
David Allen
Job title: Managing Director
Company: Recycling Lives
"His unique compliance approach blends business acumen and eco-passion."
Sarah Poulter
Job title: CEO
Company: CIWM
"Fearlessly leading CIWM to create a world beyond waste."
Adam Read
Job title: Chief Sustainability and External Affairs Officer
Company: SUEZ UK
"The ultimate eco-ambassador and thought leader with extensive experience."
Tracy Sutton
Job title: Founder and Lead Consultant
Company: Root
"Empowering companies to embrace the circular economy."
Joshua Doherty
Job title: Editor
Company: LetsRecycle
"Uncovering hidden gems in the waste industry with journalistic prowess."
Iain Gulland
Job title: Chief Executive
Company: Zero Waste Scotland
"Turning resource conservation into an art form in Scotland."
Andy Rees
Job title: Head of Waste Strategy
Company: Welsh Government
"Mastermind behind Wales' circular economy plans, turning waste into wealth."
Jonathan Wragg
Job title: Independent Consultant
Company: N/A
"Green energy source, powering the fight against plastic tax and greenwashing."
13. Chris Brown
Chris Brown
Job title: Senior Sustainability Operations and Compliance Manager
Company: Curry's
"His innovative spirit transforms Curry's recycling operations."
Dr Tracey Leghorn
Job title: Chief Business Services Officer
Company: SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK
"Transformative force, with a passion for inclusion and creating opportunities."
Nicola Jones
Job title: Steel Packaging Recycling Manager
Company: Tata Steel UK
"Inspiring the industry to embrace circular solutions for steel packaging."
Mikela Druckman
Job title: Founder and CEO
Company: Greyparrot AI
"Leading an AI-powered waste revolution, making recycling smarter and more efficient."
Wayne Hubbard
Job title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: ReLondon
"Transforming London's recycling landscape with 20+ years of experience."
John Scanlon
Job title: CEO
Company: SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK
"Strategic vision and industrial leadership shaping SUEZ's success story."
Anna Scott
Job title: Director of Services
Company: Keep Britain Tidy
"Driving Keep Britain Tidy's mission through innovation and research."
Debbie Hitchen
Job title: Director
Company: Anthesis Group
"Debbie is a sustainability powerhouse in the waste sector and a podcast queen."
Sam Taylor
Job title: Waste and Recycling Manager
Company: St Nicks
"Her tireless efforts in waste education truly inspire change."
Sam Horne
Job title: Head of Waste and Environmental Services; Chair
Company: Hampshire County Council; NADWO
"Boosting NAWDO's profile and amplifying Waste Disposal Authorities' voices."
Gill Mulroe
Job title: Co-Chair
Company: YH Climate Commission
"She has guided countless professionals toward chartered management success."
Matanya Horowitz
Job title: Founder and CEO
Company: AMP Robotics
"Revolutionising recycling through AI and robotics."
Boyan Slat
Job title: Founder and CEO
Company: The Ocean Cleanup
"Cleaning up the oceans with innovative floating barriers."
Scott Butler
Job title: Executive Director
Company: Material Focus
"A business and sustainability expert leading the charge in the waste sector."
Dr Wendy Fail
Job title: Senior Waste Management Officer
Company: Northumberland County Council
"Her dedication elevates waste minimisation and education in Northumberland."
Thomas Short
Job title: Director
Company: Waste Fetch
"Transforming waste collection services across the UK."
David Poulton
Job title: Co Founder
Company: Up The Garden Bath - CIC
"His upcycling community project is an innovative force for good."
Michael Taylor
Job title: Managing Director
Company: Mitie
"Delivering sustainable facilities and energy management for a greener tomorrow."
Christine McRitchie
Job title: Managing Director
Company: Earthwise Girls
"Empowering sustainable change, championing reusable products."
Ceris Turner-Bailes
Job title: CEO
Company: WasteAid
"Scaling and promoting WasteAid in the international development community."
David Palmer-Jones
Job title: Environmental Consultant
Company: DPJ Environmnetal
"A strategic leader in the waste sector, driving growth and innovation."
Sophie Walker
Job title: CEO and Co-Founder
Company: Dsposal
"An innovative project that helps the NHS manage waste and champions sustainability."
Paul East
Job title: Head of Packaging Recycling and Design
Company: RECOUP
"Improving the recyclability of plastic packaging."
Paul Taylor
Job title: CEO
Company: FCC Environment
"Paul is dedicated to turning waste into a resource."
John Twitchen
Job title: Founder
Company: Stuff4Life & env23
"Creating circular economy solutions and promoting sustainable infrastructure."
Beverley Simonson
Job title: Program Manager, EU Circular Economy
Company: Amazon
"Advancing circular packaging systems and mentoring future waste management talent."
Nikki Digiovanni
Job title: Director Of Business Development
Company: CCORRN Ltd
"Building community resilience by repurposing resources."
Cathy Cook
Job title: Chair
Company: LARAC
"Supporting local authorities across the country with recycling and waste issues"
Jack Connors
Job title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: Greenzone Facilities Management Limited
"Passionate about sustainable waste management."
Tony McPartland
Job title: Managing Director
Company: Zest Recycle
"A commercial leader with a world of waste management experience."
Jacob Hayler
Job title: Executive Director
Company: ESA
"His market-focused policies combine environmental and economic sustainability."
Margaret Bates
Job title: Executive Director
Company: On Pack Recycling Label
"Margaret is highly-respected and plays a crucial role in developing waste knowledge."
Ray Georgeson
Job title: Head of Policy, Impact and Evaluation
Company: Zero Waste Scotland
"Supporting the acceleration of Scotland’s journey to a circular economy."
Mike Shaver
Job title: Director; Professor of Polymer Science
Company: Sustainable Futures; University of Manchester
"Dedicated to collaborating with stakeholders for a more sustainable future.."
Simone Aplin
Job title: Technical Director
Company: Anthesis UK
"Over 20 years’ experience in the waste and resource sector."
Lorna Slater
Job title: Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity
Company: Scottish Government
"Leading Scotland's drive towards a circular economy."
Catherine Conway
Job title: Founder and MD
Company: Unpackaged Innovation Ltd
"Driving innovative reuse system development."
Tom Giddings
Job title: Executive Director
Company: Alupro
"A true champion of the circular economy, committed to building a sustainable future."
Joe Papineschi
Job title: Chairperson
Company: Eunomia Research & Consulting
"Dedicated to strategy and policy formulation in the circular economy."
Chris Baker
Job title: Country Manager
Company: Algramo UK
"Passionate about the circular economy and supply chain transformation."
Steve Gough
Job title: CEO
Company: Valpak Limited
"Developed the UK’s largest database on packaging waste."
Emily Rogers
Job title: COO
Company: Reath
"Tackling the systemic dependency on single-use items."
Job title: Head of Pawsuading
Company: Recycle Your Electricals campaign
"This cat promotes reuse and recycling of electricals with powers of pawsuasion."
Cat Fletcher
Job title: Co-founder
Company: Freegle
"Facilitating reuse between thousands of users through Freegle Brighton."
Tom Passmore
Job title: CIO and Co-Founder
Company: Dsposal Ltd
"Passionate about improving compliance via well-designed software and data systems."
Emma Hailes
Job title: Head of Commercial
Company: Waste Experts
"Embodies organisational values and mentors her teams to deliver excellence."
Alex Robinson
Job title: CEO
Company: Hubbub
"Now the CEO of Hubbub, he focuses on environmental behavior change."
Anne Hitch
Job title: Business & Project Development
Company: RECOUP
"A fabulous asset to RECOUP, bringing together organisations and citizens."
Paula Chin
Job title: Sustainable Materials Specialist
Company: WWF
"Provides brilliant technical expertise to solve materials-related issues"
Paul Vanston
Job title: CEO
Company: INCPEN
"He heads up the packaging industry organisation INCPEN."
Brendan O'Shea
Job title: Founder and CEO
Company: Just Clear
"His zero-to-landfill ethos has developed into a sound business model."
Adnan Zeb-Khan
Job title: Manager
Company: Carpet Recycling UK
"Works tirelessly to increase membership and visibility of Carpet Recycling UK."
Julian Parfitt
Job title: Technical Director
Company: Anthesis Group
"An acknowledged and respected expert in the field of resource management."
Robin Denson
Job title: Head of Supply Chain
Company: Mitie
"Bringing examples of environmental best practice from Canada to the UK."
George Atkinson
Job title: Policy Manager
Company: Valpak
"Simplifying the new packaging waste legislation."
Sophie Thomas
Job title: Founding Director
Company: Thomas.Matthews
"Leading the sustainable design conversation."
Claudia Amos
Job title: Technical Director
Company: Anthesis Group
"Leading Antithesis' waste infrastructure practices."
Adam Herriott
Job title: Resource Management Specialist
Company: WRAP
"Leading a circular economy for flexible plastic packaging."
Phil Sutton
Job title: Founder
Company: Polytag and Econpro
"The mastermind behind 'describe, tag and trace' technology."
Sian Sutherland
Job title: Co-founder
Company: A Plastic Planet
"Keeping plastic waste at the heart of the public news agenda."
Amanda Bakewell
Job title: Communications & Engagement Manager
Company: RECOUP
"An industry challenger with a citizen's-eye view."
Mickey Green
Job title: Managing Director
Company: Somerset Waste Partnership
"Making Somerset even more environmentally friendly."
Chris Smith
Job title: Resource Efficiency Leader
Company: Comply Direct
"Harnessing data to achieve resource-use goals."
Sarahjane Widdowson
Job title: Director
"Advises clients on all aspects of waste and recycling."
Sir David Attenborough
Job title: Broadcaster
Company: Blue Planet II, BBC
"The voice that launched a thousand plastic-free ships with Blue Planet II!"
Emma Burlow
Job title: Strategic Sustainability Adviser and Trainer
Company: Lighthouse Sustainability Ltd
"She uses her experience to help businesses navigate sustainability challenges."
Tony Breton
Job title: Market Developer
Company: Source Separation Europe, Novamont
"Tony is the Market Developer for Novamont and a board member for the BBIA."
Sarah Ottaway
Job title: Sustainability and Social Value Lead
Company: SUEZ
"Sarah promotes creative and innovative ideas with a strong ethical foundation."
Emma Beal
Job title: Managing Director
Company: West London Waste Authority
"Emma leads WLWA, developing waste management strategy with constituent boroughs."
Vicki Hughes
Job title: CIWM Trustee
Company: Enva Wood Recycling
"Instrumental in recycled wood products and CIWM trustee."
Emma Elston
Job title: Director
Company: UKCM Limited
"Co-founder of UKCM and recipient of MBE for services to manufacturing."
Lamia Sbiti
Job title: Business Transformation Manager
Company: ReLondon
"Leads the support program for London-based SMEs adopting circular practices."
Dame Ellen MacArthur
Job title: Founder
Company: Ellen MacArthur Foundation
"Encouraging circular economy transition."
Tony McGurk
Job title: Chairman
Company: CryptoCycle
"Changing recycling and reuse through innovative digital technologies."
Andy Doran
Job title: Senior Manager
Company: Sustainability & Recycling Development, Novelis Europe
"Pushing aluminum recycling to close the metal loop."
Jane Beasley
Job title: Director
Company: Beasley Associates
"Consultant working with local government on waste partnership development."
Dan Cooke
Job title: Chairman
Company: CIWM
"Brings decades of experience in waste and resources."
Phil Conran
Job title: Director
Company: 360 Environmental
"Awarded an OBE for services to recycling and the environment in 2021."
Martin Hyde
Job title: Sustainability and Public Affairs Manager
Company: Alupro
"Works with Alupro members to improve aluminium packaging recycling in the UK."
Nigel Harvey
Job title: Chief Executive
Company: Recolight
"Over 25 years of experience in product compliance."
Natalie Fee
Job title: Founder
Company: City to Sea
"Tielessly working to reduce marine litter and single-use plastics."
Marcus Gover
Job title: Outgoing CEO
Company: WRAP
"CEO of WRAP, with over 25 years of experience in the environment sector."
Lara Pohl-Martell
Job title: Business Advisor
Company: ReLondon
"Helps circular economy businesses refine their models."
Rick Hindley
Job title: Executive Director
Company: Podback
"Breaking through the coffee pod recycling roadblocks."
Steve Eminton
Job title: Editor
Company: Lets Recycle
"Editor of since 2000, specialising in water, housing, and recycling."
Stuart Foster 2023
Stuart Foster
Job title: CEO
Company: RECOUP
"Leads RECOUP and a director of EPRO, working in the plastic industry since 1999."
Gail Martin
Job title: Member and Centre Engagement Manager
Company: CIWM
"Mentors professionals to achieve Chartered and Fellow status in CIWM."
Tim Walker FCIWM
Job title: Chief Executive
Company: arc21
"Junior Vice-President for CIWM, contributing to the resource management sector."

The Hot 100 celebrates individual achievement in the waste and resources industry. Since 2002, industry professionals have been invited to nominate and vote for the people they feel have made a difference.

If you are interested in participating in next year's Hot 100, follow us on twitter or sign-up to our free newsletter for news and updates!

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