Resource Use

Zero Waste Scotland to break away from WRAP


Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) will break away from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in June 2014, it has been announced.

In a letter sent to stakeholders yesterday (3 February), W George Burgess, Head of Environmental Quality at the Scottish Government, said that the move formed part of the Scottish Government’s plans to focus ‘on creating the conditions for Scotland to benefit from a more circular economy’.

He wrote: ‘As you know, the Scottish Government is committed to delivering an ambitious programme on resource efficiency and the circular economy.

‘Since 2010 we have funded the Zero Waste Scotland programme through WRAP to help deliver our policies, and in 2012 we formally established Zero Waste Scotland as a subsidiary company of WRAP… To support the next stages in our work, we are now looking to integrate the work of Zero Waste Scotland more closely with the wider Scottish policy landscape, our Scottish delivery partners and the Scottish business and research communities.’

He continued: ‘In close consultation with WRAP, we have examined a number of options for realigning the governance and management of Zero Waste Scotland to better achieve these outcomes. We have jointly concluded that the best option is to transition Zero Waste Scotland from a subsidiary company of WRAP operating under the WRAP board, to an organisation operating under its own governance structure.

‘With our support, WRAP and Zero Waste Scotland will now work to put these arrangements in place from 30 June.’

Burgess assured stakeholders that ZWS’s current delivery plan would ‘not be affected’ by this change and maintained that ZWS and WRAP would continue their ‘strong working relationship’.

He added that once the transition is made, ZWS will begin a ‘wider business development and engagement programme with [its] stakeholders to ensure [it] [maximises] the impacts of Zero Waste Scotland’s future programmes and work’.

WRAP is ‘immensely proud’ of what it has achieved in Scotland

Writing in response to Burgess’s letter, WRAP CEO, Dr Liz Goodwin also wrote to stakeholders, saying: ‘WRAP designed, built and has run the highly successful Zero Waste Scotland programme for the Scottish Government with great results. As part of that, we led and then implemented a review of the resource efficiency landscape in Scotland. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved in a very short time.

‘The Scottish Government has decided that it now wants to integrate that work more closely into the Scottish landscape and we were happy to help them identify the way to do that… The government will continue to buy into our expertise and very successful cross-UK initiatives. I look forward to our strong partnership going from strength to strength in future.’

Goodwin added that the ‘vast majority of the funds’ currently provided by the Scottish Government will stay within WRAP’s Scottish operations, and the break will have a ‘limited impact on WRAP’s core funding’. 

WRAP bids for charitable status

As well as the break from Zero Waste Scotland, WRAP is also seeking to change the way it is funded. Following on from increasing cuts from central government, WRAP is now pursuing a bid for charitable status, to ‘access to a new source of funding’.

According to Goodwin, this would enable WRAP to ‘use [its] unique position and international impact to build a more diversified income base which will give [it] more scope to innovate and develop solutions’.

Details of any future corporate plan, however, are said ‘still to be decided’.

Last year, WRAP successfully secured €1.5 million (£1.3 million) of EU funding for Resource Efficient Business Models (REBus) following the announcement that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was to cut the amount of funding it gives WRAP by 40 per cent by 2015/16. For the seven years running to 2015/16, the department will have reduced WRAP’s funding by 72 per cent (£40.5 million).

Read more about Zero Waste Scotland and WRAP.