Supply chain sustainability will 'pull' waste sector forward
Global brands are putting more pressure on their upstream supply chains when it comes to sustainable resource management - and this will spark major opportunities for the waste sector, according to industry expert Peter Jones.
Jones, who was speaking at the LRS Consultancy network meeting in London yesterday (September 29), said that supply chain issues around raw material cost and availability were being to "percolate senior level thinking" within major brand organisations.
He maintained that this, coupled with a CSR need to be seen to responding to consumer concerns around issues like packaging, would be a key driver for companies such as Coca Cola and Unilever to deliver key solutions in these areas. "This will effectively pull the [waste] industry forward," he added.
Jones argued that the root of the problem was the "expansion of the global middle classes with their huge appetites for excessive packaging". He also spoke of the growing opportunity to establish what he framed "an alternative waste agenda", one that would be based on resource recovery, but warned that it required a sound financial footing in order to be commercially viable.
"We are now moving from state injection, through PFIs and subsidies that have been restricted to domestic [waste] streams, into an era where there's a clear message going out now to the waste industry, energy producers, recyclers and resource recoverers," he told delegates.
"Whatever happens in this sector is broadly speaking, going to have to happen on balance sheet, on a commercial basis, and underpinned maybe by associated policy initiatives such as feed-in tariffs and ROCs."
Presentations from the LRS Consultancy network meeting can be viewed here