A glimpse of my waste management roadmap for 2018

26th January 2018 Posted by

Posted by Dr. Adam Read.

Spinning fast

After five months in my new role, a few of my colleagues ask “so how’s it going, have you settled in yet?” I have found SUEZ most welcoming, with staff in all locations making time to fill me in and share their valuable insights. As you may have seen from some of my blogs over the recent months I have spent time getting to know the business, visiting sites, and engaging in early stage business planning in both municipal and commercial sectors. I can now say that I am getting up to speed on the corporate issues and ways of doing things.

SUEZ truck

But, my transition from consultant to waste contractor has been helped, or hindered depending on your point of view, by the sheer scope and scale of activities in our sector, allowing me no time to stop and catch my breath!

In recent months, I have been involved in consultations and calls for evidence on deposit return schemes, Environment Agency charging, the National Infrastructure Commission modelling of future infrastructure needs, and of course commenting on the London Environment Strategy. On top of this I’ve been part of think tanks, committees and working group sessions focused on better regulation, carbon metrics and targets, local partnerships, the residual infrastructure gap, Chinese import policy, and of course the UK industrial strategy.

Then there has been my time on CIWM committees, including the Executive Council as we oversee a change in governance and structuring, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) working groups in particular those on communications and procurement. Not forgetting my initial forays into working with FEAD across Europe.

So you see, I wasn’t kidding when I said I have been busy!

Plus of course I have worked closely with hundreds of new colleagues on understanding the SUEZ position and experience to feedback to the committees and working groups.

Spinning faster!

2018 is already proving to be equally as busy, if not more so, with the government releasing their 25-year plan for the environment and we’re expecting a response on the National Infrastructure Commission ‘Congestion, Capacity, Carbon: priorities for national infrastructure’ report in the first quarter. I am continuing to travel the country on my series of site visits and study tours to see more of the SUEZ portfolio. So watch out for blogs from me as I explore the sites in Suffolk; Teesside; Darwen; Kirklees; Cornwall; and Kensington and Chelsea throughout January and February.

Waste managementAs we progress through the year, and I get even more comfortable with our position and track record, I expect to be contributing more to our municipal business development activities, and have already started working on RWM 2018, LARAC 2018 and some regional CIWM meetings.

I have already commissioned two new research projects which will be delivered and circulated throughout the rest of the year. These will cover deposit return schemes and the potential for financial flows to support local government education and community activities, as well as a best practice guide for municipal procurement. I look forward to working with my contractors on these and sharing their insights with the market in the coming months.

I am also involved in planning for a number of customer conferences, developing some client future-gazing workshops, and liaising with the media on the big issues that will continue to face the sector including global commodity markets, ocean plastics, deposit return schemes and recycling contamination.

In the third quarter we should have sight of DEFRA’s Resource and Waste Strategy (at last), which promises to have all the answers to our needs and will be the action plan for delivering aspects of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Clean Growth Strategy, the DEFRA 25 year plan and the UK Industrial Strategy.

I am expecting a lot of engagement with DEFRA and BEIS in first six months of the year as we develop specific elements of the strategy and in as the second half of the year SUEZ looks to respond, react and reposition to the new policy agenda.

So I don’t think I will be anything but busy in 2018 – but I have always preferred it that way!

As with all my ‘comments’ they are mine and mine alone. If you would like to get in touch or share your opinions then please email me at

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