Dr Janez Potocnik and Baroness Parminter confirmed as keynote speakers at Resourcing the Future 2017

Written by: Resourcing the Future 2017 | Published:

Keynote addresses from Liberal Democrat Lords environment spokesperson Baroness Parminter and Dr Janez Potočnik, author of the original EU Circular Economy package and now Co-Chair of UNEP’s International Resource Panel, will be among the highlights at the Resourcing the Future Conference 2017 next month.

Taking place in London on 27 and 28 June, the joint annual event is organised by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the Resource Association (RA) and WRAP.

This year’s programme focuses both on the current challenges and the long-term outlook for the UK resource and waste management sector.

“This conference comes at a critical time,” said CIWM chief executive Dr Colin Church. “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.”

Key issues

With plenty to say on waste, Baroness Parminter is likely to get the conference started on an ambitious note and day one will explore key 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.

These morning sessions will bring together a range of different stakeholders, views and research outcomes, with the resulting debate intended to support a more collaborative cross-sector approach to finding solutions. Speakers include Viridor’s commercial director Paul Ringham; Iain Ferguson, environment manager at the Co-operative Group; Andrew Lappage, head of operations at North London Waste Authority; Valpak chief executive Steve Gough, and Nick Brown, head of sustainability for Coca-Cola European Partners.

Interactive discussion

Expert panels in the afternoon – with insight from senior speakers from across the sector – offer the opportunity for interactive discussion on specific topics ranging from contracts and risk-sharing through to reuse, waste crime and the future outlook for residual waste disposal.

On day two, Dr Potočnik will set the scene for a wide ranging exploration and evaluation of the future policy landscape, with thought leaders from across the sector looking at the long term vision for the UK, and the risks and opportunities on the horizon. Speakers include Helga Vanthournout, senior expert at McKinsey’s Center for Business and the Environment; Marcus Gover, chief executive of WRAP; Robert Hunt, chief corporate officer at Veolia UK; Mike Barry, head of sustainable business for M&S, and DS Smith UK MD Mathew Prosser.

Plenary session

The closing plenary session widens the debate further, exploring 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. Speakers include Carl Beer, chief executive of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Andrew Shannon, partner at Circularity Capital, and there is international learning too from Dutch Circular Economy and sustainable cities expert, Freek van Eijk.

Delegates will also be able to enjoy an even more interactive conference experience this year, with an improved conference ‘app’ through which to network, vote and submit ‘live’ questions during the sessions.

Find out more about Resourcing the Future 2017 here.

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