EXCLUSIVE: WRAP looks to add value as budget is cut by 11%

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will see its budget cut by 11% next year as it undergoes a government review to ensure its work is delivering value for money.

According to indicative numbers from Defra, WRAP’s budget will be reduced from £28.8m in 2012-13 to £25.74m in 2013-4. As a result the programme will be seeking to rationalise costs through an internal efficiency drive.

Speaking exclusively to edie, WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said that despite these financial pressures, she remained “relatively relaxed” about the organisation taking such a hit.

“We recognise that government expenditure is under huge pressure … we can still achieve an awful lot with that £25m,” she maintained.

“We will have to examine our own internal efficiencies and reduce some overheads, but I don’t anticipate any significant job losses at this stage,” she said.

Goodwin pointed to the fact that the organisation receives additional funding from other government sources, both at UK and EU level. She was also confident that WRAP’s work in leading the circular economy agenda would bear well for its forthcoming review.

The review, which will be undertaken by Defra, forms part of a wider government policy review by ministers to ensure various agencies remain fit-for-purpose. WRAP is working with Defra to scope out the review which will be undertaken over the next six months.

Asked if the budget cuts would significantly compromise any of WRAP’s main outputs, Goodwin said the organisation would work hard to ensure there were no hefty casualties.

“Some strands of our work are naturally coming to an end like the halving waste to landfill initiative in the construction waste sector,” she explained, adding that WRAP would be changing its approach going forward to concentrate on greater resource efficiency in this area.

The main focus of WRAP’s work over next 12 months however will be maintaining momentum towards a circular economy, and looking at how its role as a facilitator can act as a catalyst and lever for change.

“We are doing a lot more work to understand how to make things more circular, so looking in detail at certain loops like food and the built environment, and also work around textiles and electronics,” Goodwin said.

She added that 2012 had seen some “fantastic developments” on the waste and resource management front.

“We have got a far better discussion now about the circular economy. What this debate is showing is that the waste and recycling sector is a key part of the solution.”

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie