WRAP funding slashed despite five-fold return on investment

Recent Government spending cuts led to a 38% drop in income for the Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP) in 2014/15, despite the organisation delivering a five-fold return on its funding.

According to WRAP’s latest annual report, total income for 2014/15 was £40.7m, down from £66.3m the previous year, with the drop “mainly due to reductions in central Government funding”.

But the deep cuts appear overly punitive, given the success of the organisation. In the report, WRAP claims that for every £1 of funding spent on priority programmes like Love Food Hate Waste, it leveraged £2 of external contributions.

This combined investment in resource efficiency totalled £400m, which in turn generated benefits to society worth £2.3bn – an almost five-fold return on total investment and a nearly 20-fold return on initial funding.


WRAP said its recent transition to a charity would help it continue to operate effectively in spite of the recent cuts.

Writing in the annual report introduction, chief executive Liz Goodwin said: “We all need to adapt to changing circumstances and shifts in the external operating environment. WRAP has taken its own advice. We have taken action to evolve our future by becoming a charity, diversifying our funding base and embracing more new ways of working.

“That said, many things about WRAP will remain the same: our mission, our tailored approach, our influential partnerships; ultimately, the dedication of our passionate and expert staff who help ensure positive environmental change happens. WRAP is committed to changing the ‘norm’ to achieve a more sustainable economic environment in the areas and countries in which we work.”

Resource Revolution

WRAP was established in 2000 and now receives funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Northern Ireland Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, the Welsh Government and the European Union.

In the UK alone, WRAP’s work in the last five years has resulted in four million tonnes less waste being produced and nearly 50 million tonnes of carbon equivalent emissions being avoided.

Going forward, WRAP says it plans to implement its Resource Revolution strategy, which includes a 10-year extension to the Courtauld Commitment, the global expansion of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, and the development of the Love Your Clothes campaign.

Brad Allen

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