Session 5 – Circularity
Rethink Responsible Consumption
We need to rethink how we consume in Scotland. To truly end our contribution to the climate crisis, we need to rethink how we consume in Scotland. Around four-fifths of Scotland’s footprint comes from the products and materials we manufacture, use and throw away. The average Scot consumes 18.4 tonnes of materials every year – that’s the equivalent of 50kg per week on average.
The evidence is clear. Consumption in Scotland is unsustainably high. This is, in part, due to the quantity of things we buy. We need a system wide change that enables us all to choose more sustainable ways to live, use the things we need and share resources.
We know that a circular economy is one of the solutions as it promises to maximise value from the goods we already have in circulation while relieving pressure on finite natural materials, like oil and precious metals.
Implementing the principles of the circular economy at a scale needed to tackle climate change and global resource scarcity will not be easy. Given the systems and financial mechanisms that have evolved to support the linear economy, dislodging it will require requires a joint effort from all sectors – from individuals to designers, industry, and governments – and can help us build back better, generate new opportunities for Scotland from inward investment to new, ‘green’ jobs.
Join our series of conversations with Zero Waste Scotland experts to discuss the role of innovation in powering a circular economy – and supporting a just transition.
Chief Executive Officer, Zero Waste Scotland
Iain is Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland and previously led its predecessor programme, WRAP Scotland.
Zero Waste Scotland leads on the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy strategy and other low carbon policy priorities, and is at the forefront of efforts to create a resource efficient, circular economy.
Iain has more than 25 years’ experience in sustainable resource management, including initiating recycling systems in the public and third sectors. He is the current President of the Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) and he is a member of a number of Scottish Government strategic groups including the Economy and Environment Leaders Group, the Board of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and the Expert Panel on Environmental Charges. He was voted the ‘most influential person in the UK waste and resource efficiency sector’ in 2014 by Resource Magazine, and he was granted Fellowship of Chartered Institution of Wastes Management in 2016.
Director of Customer Engagement and Communications, Zero Waste Scotland
Jill is an economic and business development professional with over 25 years’ experience of developing Scotland’s economy. Jill’s work with companies, Universities and government has focussed on developing and delivering strategic priorities and promoting Scotland’s capabilities internationally.
Jill joined Zero Waste Scotland in March 2017 charged with stepping up work to identify and realise circular economy opportunities in Scotland. Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government (with ERDF support) and employs around 170 staff.
As Programme Director for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, Jill led the team that advised on the scheme design and worked with the private sector to implement the scheme in Scotland. The Deposit Return Scheme is a national initiative that aims to incentivise the recycling of drinks bottles and cans and change people’s behaviour towards waste.
Working in the USA for 5 years promoting Scotland’s capabilities to attract inward investment and developing international strategic partnerships at the University of Strathclyde, contribute to Jill’s international perspective and strong track record of delivering results through partnership working. In addition to the Deposit Return Scheme, this includes complex and strategic projects such as securing the location of the Green Investment Bank HQ in Edinburgh; delivering the Scottish Enterprise investment for the Dundee Waterfront redevelopment (£33mn investment in a £90mn project); and developing the concept and business case for the V&A in Dundee. Jill has extensive non-executive experience including Social Investment Scotland Ltd and as a founding board member of the V&A, Dundee.
Head of Customer Engagement, Zero Waste Scotland
Since January 2021, Louise has been leading Zero Waste Scotland’s emerging Business Development team on an interim basis, to support Zero Waste Scotland’s organisational transformation.
Prior to that Louise led the Circular Economy team for over five years, influencing and supporting businesses and wider society to embrace circular opportunities.
The focus of Louise’s work remains driving circular economy solutions in Scotland, now with particular emphasis on building and analysing the evidence for change and working in partnership to deliver high-impact interventions.
With a background in engineering, Louise has over 20 years’ experience in Resource Management, working for the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) for 13 of those years, with a particular focus on organics reprocessing for much of that time.
In October 2007, Louise moved to Scotland as part of a small initial team which established a Scottish programme and office for WRAP. Louise initially took responsibility for supporting reprocessing and was instrumental in delivering significant food waste reprocessing capacity in Scotland.
Professor of Sustainable Consumption, University of Stirling
Iain Black is Professor of Sustainable Consumption at the University of Stirling and has held positions at the University of Edinburgh, University of Sydney and Heriot Watt University.
His main teaching and research interests focus on sustainability and climate change, in particular de-consumerisation, barriers to sustainable consumption, responses to scarcity and why people choose not to consume (anti-consumption). On these and related topics he has published widely in top ranked academic journals and was a reviewer of the forthcoming IPCC 6th Assessment report.
He is Sustainable Consumption theme leader for the International Sustainable Development Research Society and is active within the environmental and policy communities where, for example, he on the Board of Friends of the Earth Scotland, is Director of Commonweal and co-authored their Green New Deal for Scotland. He is also teaching and learning Director of the Climate Solutions Programme in partnership with the Royal Scottish Geographic Society and the Institute of Directors.
He regularly contributes to government working groups and consultations including for the Scottish Government, the Draft Climate Change Engagement Strategy, Climate Change Behaviours in the recovery from Covid, and the Consumer Scotland Bill. More widely he recently advised the UK civil service on Key Climate Change Behaviours and Behavioural interventions in the context of Covid-19 and Misleading Environmental Claims.
CEO of Renewable Parts Ltd
Following a career spanning 25 years with Aerospace Corporate, Rolls-Royce, James moved to lead Renewable Parts to become a global player in parts supply chain solutions. An engineer by background, during his time with Rolls-Royce James had roles within Sales & Marketing, Service Development and MRO working with global giants that included Airbus, Boeing and Cathay Pacific. Prior to leaving the business in 2015, James led Rolls-Royce’s Marketing division for Civil Aerospace.
Programme Director, DRS Implementation
Donald heads up the team establishing the company and delivering the implementation programme. He has been in leadership roles on the DRS programme since he joined Zero Waste Scotland in early 2019 to develop the initial operating model for the Scheme Administrator and support the final legislation development. Previous experience includes 13 years at BT and Openreach, delivering key roles including transformation projects in the public and private sector, and strategic business development.
Managing Director, Windswept Brewing Company
School – Jordanthorpe & King Edward VII schools
University of York – 1987 – Studied Chemistry – Graduated 1990
Commisioned in the RAF in 1991 and after 5 years of training joined my first squadron, 617 Sqn, at RAF Lossiemouth as a pilot on the Tornado ground attack aircraft. Joined XV® Sqn at Lossiemouth as a pilot instructor in 2000 and instructed for 4.5 years before being promoted to Sqn Ldr and moving to 14 Sqn for a tour as a Flight Commander. I left the RAF in Jun 2007 on completion of this tour. During my flying career I did several tours in the middle east as part of the forces engaged in operations over Iraq.
I married Amanda in 1994 and we have 2 children, Izzy (23) and Cameron(21). We have lived in the village of Urquhart, just outside Elgin, since 1999.
After leaving the RAF I joined THALES to work as a Tornado simulator instructor. After several years of home brewing with my business partner Al Read, we set up Windswept Brewing Co in October 2012 with our first commercial brew in November. We both split our time between working as instructor in the simulator and the brewery. In 2016 I left the simulator to concentrate full time on Windswept Brewing Co.
Windswept Brewing Co
Windswept has grown organically over the years and as Managing Director I still find myself in the brewery making and packaging beer, out on deliveries and serving in our small shop and bar. Before leaving the RAF I qualified as a Code For Sustainable Homes Assessor with BRE which has shaped the way I look at infrastructure and the living environment and made me look critically at the our infrastructure and the difficulties small businesses have in implementing new technologies and circular economy strategies, particularly in rented accommodation. At Windswept we are focused on reducing our impact on the environment and are striving to work with local farms and businesses to reduce the mileage on our beers!
I am a keen road and mountain biker and run to keep fit. I regularly surf and paddleboard here on the Lossie coast and have recently learnt to kite surf. In winter I enjoy getting out into the mountains for ski mountaineering. I also enjoy a beer or 2 every now and then!!
Director of Nourish Scotland
Pete is Director of Nourish Scotland. He’s also an organic farmer in the Scottish Borders and a member of the Food Ethics Council.
Michael A. Cusack
Head of Sustainability at ACS
Michael has worked for blue chip companies in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Working with ACS over the last 9-years he has driven Sustainability & Organisational Development transforming it into a Total Circular Business. He is an engineering graduate with MBA, a MSc in HR, and a Master Black Belt from Motorola University.
Dr Katherine Duffy
Senior Lecturer in Marketing at University of Glasgow
Kat has researched consumer culture with a particular interest in sustainable clothing consumption throughout her career, publishing on the subject in a range of international journals, contributing to a range of publications, giving invited talks, teaching, and supervising PhD researchers in this area.
Director of Marketing, Communications and Strategy at Sustainable Fashion Scotland
Mairi Lowe is a Scottish Content Marketer, Systems Practitioner and MSc Social Innovation graduate based in Edinburgh. Focusing on sustainable fashion in Scotland, her research involves navigating complex challenges through a systems change perspective. Mairi is a Founding Member of Sustainable Fashion Scotland, a community-led social enterprise exploring through practice how communities can contribute to collective impact and collaborate to create place-based sustainable transformations.
Partner, Business Support at Zero Waste Scotland
Anna is a senior technical expert with 16 years’ experience working on the sustainability and low carbon agenda in Scotland. For the last 10 years she has worked at Zero Waste Scotland developing, managing, and delivering a range of business support projects and programmes designed to assist businesses in improving their resource efficiency, as well as working on specific specialist areas including the high-profile Deposit Return Scheme, waste prevention, sustainable packaging and textiles. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience working with the business community and stakeholders from across the public and private sector to influence and realise effective change and is passionate about identifying and implementing practical real-world solutions to the sustainability challenges of today.
Senior Cities Strategist, Circle Economy
Ilektra Kouloumpi is a Senior Cities Strategist at Circle Economy, and leads the Thriving Cities team, designing a journey for cities to implement regenerative economies that put people and planet at their heart. The programme takes the Doughnut Economics model of Kate Raworth and downscales it to the city level, turning it into a practical tool for transformative action.
At Circle Economy, Ilektra has also led the Circle City Scans team and worked together with cities in Europe, USA, and Asia helping them to implement circular economy strategies and pilot projects on the ground.
Prior to Circle Economy, Ilektra has conducted research projects on smart & sustainable urbanism at TU Berlin and on EU policies for the built environment at Buildings Performance Institute of Europe in Brussels, while she has also worked as sustainability and buildings engineer for the international firm Arup in Amsterdam.
A fond lover of people and groups working creatively, and deeply curious about new ways of living in harmony with nature, Ilektra has designed and led participatory processes for city changemakers in multiple countries across the world, while she often lectures and presents in conferences, universities and international events about thriving cities and societies.
Chief Executive Officer, ReLondon
Wayne is the Chief Executive Officer of ReLondon (the London Waste and Recycling Board), where he is responsible for helping London’s boroughs to reduce waste and increase recycling rates, and accelerating the development of a low carbon circular economy. He has been working for LWARB since 2008. Prior to this he was the Head of Waste Policy at the Greater London Authority. Wayne is a trustee on the board of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management. He has 25 years’ experience in the waste and resource management industry.