Liz Goodwin to step down as WRAP chief executive

Liz Goodwin will step down as chief executive of the UK Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) later this year, after nine years in the role.

WRAP has today (8 February) confirmed that Goodwin will depart on 30 June, 2016, but she will continue to work with the organisation “in an indirect way” in the future.

Q&A with WRAP’s outgoing chief executive Liz Goodwin

Goodwin said: “My decision to stand down as chief executive of WRAP was not an easy one to make. I love WRAP. I care deeply about the staff and the work we do. However, I think this is the right time to pass the baton on to someone else.

“The organisation is in great shape – we are making excellent progress towards our vision, working with many key partners, we expect to receive continued funding from our main government funders and we’re making good progress in developing other sources of income.

“I look forward to seeing WRAP continue to grow and prosper in future. I intend to continue working with WRAP in an indirect way and to continue to offer my knowledge and expertise gained over the past 14 years.”

Big achievements

Goodwin, who last year received an OBE for her services to business resource efficiency and the environment, joined WRAP in 2001 and has been chief executive since 2007. Under Goodwin’s leadership, WRAP has taken up its charitable status and helped to highlight the benefits of accelerating the move to a sustainable, resource-efficient economy through re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products; re-thinking how we use and consume products; and re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling.

Specifically, Goodwin has overseen the delivery of the Courtauld Commitment – which involves major retailers, brands and their supply chains – to deliver significant reductions in packaging, despite growth in sales. Through consumer campaigns such as Love Food Hate Waste, she has helped to ensure the problem of food waste is now more widely understood, with WRAP helping the UK to deliver a 21% reduction in avoidable food waste since 2007.

As a regular blogger for edie, Goodwin has also helped to generate real discussion around how businesses can drive the sustainability movementthe long-term environmental benefits of the circular economy; and creating an environment for growth.

‘Real change’

WRAP has said Goodwin is leaving the organisation “in an excellent position financially”; both with confirmation of extra funding from Defra expected in the next few weeks, and the recent increase of funding from the Welsh Government. WRAP is also seeking to diversify its funding base with its increased international remit.

The organisation’s chair Julie Hill said: “I would like to thank Liz for everything that she has done for WRAP since joining in 2001 and since taking over as CEO in 2007. Under Liz’s leadership, WRAP has delivered real and substantial change in the UK. It is now highly regarded both in the UK and internationally.

“To many people, WRAP and Liz are synonymous and she will be greatly missed. I know that Liz will continue to make a difference and WRAP looks forward to working with her in future.”

Timeline: WRAP milestones under Liz Goodwin’s leadership

  • 2007 – Liz Goodwin becomes CEO
  • 2007 – Love Food Hate Waste launches
  • 2008 – WRAP launches a new voluntary agreement for the UK construction industry – Halving Waste to Landfill commitment that aims to meet its objectives by 2012.
  • 2009 (January) – Since the launch of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, WRAP identifies that consumers were saving £300 million worth of food going to waste, preventing 137,000 tonnes of food going to landfill.
  • 2009 (March) – The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme launches in response to research identifying a need to communicate better with consumers about what types of packaging can be recycled.
  • 2010 – Courtauld Commitment 2 (2010 – 2012) launches, that looked again at food and primary packaging waste, but also secondary and tertiary packaging, and supply chain waste.
  • 2011 (May) Date labels and storage guidance launches to help prevent food waste
  • 2011 (July) – £10 million anaerobic digestion fund launches
  • 2013 (May) – Courtauld Commitment 2 (2013 – 2015) launches which aims to further reduce the weight and carbon impact of household food waste, grocery product and packaging waste, both in the home and the UK grocery sector.
  • 2013 (September) – Trials of a food waste campaign taking place in West London Boroughs saves consumers over £1 million
  • 2013 (November) – Courtauld Commitment Phase 2 helps deliver over £3 billion in savings to the food industry
  • 2014 (February) – Love Your Clothes launches, and major retailers, fashion labels and textile producers in the clothing sector agree to cut environmental impact by 15%
  • 2014 (May) – First of its kind tool launched with UNEP to prevent food waste
  • 2014 (October) – WRAP extends its international reach as the campaign Love Food Hate Waste is set to roll out in Vancouver
  • 2014 (October) – Julie Hill is appointed as the new Chair
  • 2014 (November) – The Electronic and Electricals Sustainability Action Plan (esap) is set to revolutionise the electrical market, with over 50 signatories signing up
  • 2014 (December) – WRAP becomes a registered charity
  • 2015 (June) –  WRAP unveils details of its new five-year strategic plan to drive a ‘resource revolution’
  • 2015 (July) – WRAP partners with Argos to launch a nationwide gadget trade-in scheme
  • 2015 (September) – WRAP provides its response to the EU’s consultation on the circular economy package
  • 2015 (September) – A new report by WRAP reveals that a European transition to the circular economy could create three million extra jobs by 2030 and reduce unemployment by 520,000

 Luke Nicholls

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