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Workshop Report: Co-creation of a Shared Vision for Waste and Resource Management in the UK.


Abstract and Figures

Please reference as: Resource Recovery from Waste (2017) Workshop Report: Co-creation of a Shared Vision for Waste and Resource Management in the UK. Internal report.
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Workshop Report
Resource Recovery from Waste
2 December 2016
Report prepared by Phil Purnell and Anne Velenturf. Photos provided by Ana Suarez.
Resource Recovery from Waste is a UK-based
collaborative research programme engaging
academia, industry, government and the general
public to develop knowledge and tools to
reduce pressure on natural resources and create
value from wastes.
We strive for a circular economy in which waste
and resource management contribute to a
resilient environment and human well-being.
The Resource Recovery from Waste
programme is funded by NERC, ESRC and
©Resource Recovery from Waste 2017
Please cite this report as: Resource Recovery from Waste (2017) Workshop Report: Co-
creation of a Shared Vision for Waste and Resource Management in the UK. Internal report.
Co-creation Process ................................................................................................................................. 4
Workshop Programme ............................................................................................................................ 5
Results .......................................................................................................................................................... 6
Next Steps ................................................................................................................................................. 11
Participants ................................................................................................................................................ 12
Co-creation Process
The Resource Recovery from Waste (RRfW) programme coordinates a co-creation process
to formulate a shared vision, and approach to realise it, for sustainable waste and resource
management in the UK
. In this way this academic initiative contributes to the necessary
transition to bring waste and resource management within environmental and social
boundaries (Velenturf and Purnell, under review)
The co-creation process consists of four
steps (Figure 1):
1. Formulate initial vision within
academic RRfW team
2. Detail vision and approach to
realise it with RRfW’s
governmental partners (Velenturf
et al., in prep.)
3. Extend findings with insights from
RRfW industry partners
4. Publish shared vision on waste
and resource management in the
Figure 1: RRfW co-creation process
Velenturf, A.P.M. and Purnell, P. (under review) Resource Recovery from Waste: Restoring the Balance
between Resource Scarcity and Waste Overload. Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
Velenturf, A.P.M. et al. (in preparation) Co-producing a Vision and Approach for the Transition towards a
Circular Economy: Perspectives from Government Partners.
Input industry
Shared vision
on waste and
Workshop Programme
This workshop offered RRfW partners the opportunity to formulate, share and join-up
perspectives regarding their ideal vision for the waste and resource management landscape
in the UK and to explore how partners, and especially industry, could contribute to realising
such vision.
The shared vision and approach will be used to drive transition processes in relevant arenas
such as policy-making, regulation and industry.
The workshop focused on three questions:
1. What should the waste and resource management landscape ideally look like in
2020, 2030 and 2050?
2. What are the key drivers and barriers?
3. How could industry, government, academia and the general public contribute to
realising the described vision?
Activities were structured to collect individual perspectives initially, which were then
integrated as the workshop progressed:
1. Individual posters
2. Identifying key points
3. Integrating perspectives through group posters
4. Short presentations
5. Selecting key messages
6. Summary of outcomes and close
1: Individual poster contributions
Poster headings were:
Landscape: what would the waste and
resource management landscape ideally
look like in 2020, 2030 and 2050?
Barriers: barriers to implement vision
Drivers: drivers for implementing vision
Organisation: what could your
organisation do to realise the vision?
Poster results are summarised in Table 1.
2: Identifying key points “Small dots”
After 24 posters were prepared, sticky dots were
used as ‘votes’ by the group to highlight key points.
Points with votes are collated in Table 1 and
indicated in braces {x}.
Table 1: Overview of entries onto individual posters and, in braces, the number
of small dots allocated to each entry to prioritise key points.
2030: road mapping
defines R&D programme
2050: resources instead
of waste: zero waste
(behaviours changed);
legacy wastes reused +
remediated {3}
Design products/
processes with end of
life in mind {2}
Greater visibility and
importance e.g. “Office
for Resource
Management” {2}
Everything too market
driven {4}
Money {2}
Too much information
can’t see wood for trees
Planning {4}
Market failures:
information, pricing
(externalities) time
poverty (esp
implication… they need
help!) {4}
Lock in both
technological and
paradigm shift,
innovation scientific
evidence supporting
policy, add value to
economy {1}
COP21 carbon budget
Provide expert
assistance to smaller
companies without
management capacity {2}
REF is driving
‘bunkerism’ again – no
dept hires
Well defined career
choice {1}
Dedicated support from
top to bottom of
industry and between all
actors people can’t be
experts on ev[erything]
Manufacturer +
consumer responsibility
Moved from waste to
resource productivity
[redefine waste as]
secondary raw materials
[2050] all waste seen as
a resource recognition
across industry, policy
and citizens {1}
Products designed for
easy end of life
recovery/recycle {6}
2050: no waste, all
resource {1}
Presumption from
disposal and towards
low waste economy {1}
Policy and legislation
supports ProResp [?],
infrastructure, waste
policy, joined up with
energy planning, climate
change {1}
2050: zero waste {1}
[Graphic: manufacturers
idea; “product, service” in
arrow; box “legislation,
social pressure,
frameworks to be
applied”; two arrows
“value of product; high
input” leading to “scrutiny
by public, govt, socio,
economic, eco” and
“waste/by product” leading
back to start “on and on”]
Servertisation {1}
financial (long contracts
with huge waste
management companies)
Consumer perception
(need of education
interest) {1}
Stupidity {2}
Political dogma {3}
Regulation: transfer of
liability {2}
Short term policies
(RUI/permitting/end of
waste) {1}
Political inertia: govt
depts moving in different
directions {3}
Risk aversion in industry
lack of financial
incentives to change
lack of sharing new
ideas/experiences? {1}
Market supermarkets
compete on packaging
Poor connections
[between] potential
supply chains {1}
Lack of funding to
overcome market
failures {2}
Regulatory frameworks
Markets, economics {1}
All economic theory
predicated on growth
Perception of quality
drives purchase
behaviour (higher quality
= more resource) {1}
Waste collection (i.e.
chuck it away without
thinking about it) {1}
Financially-driven {1}
No penalties {1}
interdisciplinary staff
now {2}
Connect organisations
which have waste with
[those] that can use it or
have technologies for
transforming it into
value {1}
Focus on waste
valorisation {3}
Inform academia {1}
Consumers > citizens
Landscape: A transition from seeing waste as a resource (secondary raw material,
unproductive resource etc.) in the medium term to a zero waste environment in the long
term was envisaged by several commentators {9}. Behaviours of designers and users needs
to change, e.g. designing for reuse/recycling at end of life, and focussing on the service not
the material {12}; this must be allied to a change in responsibility for materials to be shared
between the manufacturer and user, supported policy and legislation via an Office for
Resource Management, that might also e.g. define R&D agendas, define RRfW as a career
choice, promote useful low-waste behaviours, support RRfW infrastructure in conjunction
with other infrastructure sectors (e.g. energy) with the ability to share expertise with all
parts of the industry and other actors in the system {15}.
Barriers: the current focus on ‘the market’, consumer-based economic paradigms and
failures thereof (e.g. lock-in to long term contracts stifling innovation) was repeatedly
invoked {18} as a barrier. The short-termism of current action in the sector and a lack of
planning were also seen as barriers {5}. Political barriers were also mentioned, from poor
regulation and transfer of liabilities, clashed between the motivation and action of
government departments, political inertia and dogma and a lack of penalties were all aspects
of this {12}. Consumer perceptions around quality and waste behaviours were criticised {4}
and the industry was seen as risk-averse and constrained by time capacity with poor
connections along the supply chain {2}.
Drivers: these were seen as diverse,
including security of supply for water,
energy, food and the associated
infrastructure, which in turn will limit
exports of potential resource {16};
demographic changes i.e. larger global
populations, urbanisation and changing
attitudes towards resources {9}; and
economic developments such as pricing
of environmental costs (e.g. carbon
emissions), alternatives economic and
business models with perhaps a greater
altruistic component {13}.
Organisation: These were not provided in as much breadth or detail as the other sections
and no clear themes emerged. The ability of academia to drive paradigm shifts (and
organisational barriers thereto), provision of expert assistance to SMEs, connections
between waste producers and potential users, and waste valorisation were all mentioned.
3-5: Group poster
contributions, presentations
and key messages
Posters were produced in six groups,
after discussion and consideration of
the voted points highlighted above and
a brief summary (aligned with the
analysis on the previous page). A brief
presentation was given by each group.
A similar voting procedure was then
used and the key points are given in
Table 2.
Table 2: Overview of group poster results with number of votes in braces {…}.
To do/ Call for action
responsibility {5}
responsibility {3}
Public perception
serverisation {3} [NB
serverisation used to
denote focus on service,
not product/materials a
la Rolls Royce business
No concept of waste
by 2050 {5}
[Graphic: interconnected
energy water food
materials as a ‘heavy
weight’ on the ‘world’
i.e. climate and
biodiversity; needs to be
made lighter and
smaller by 2050
through leadership and
fairness] {3}
Market failures
externalities; pricing;
time poverty) {1}
Political dogma/inertia
GDP/Money {3}
Addiction to stuff {1}
Zero waste
centralised (gov/soc)
Lack of public
(gov/soc/ind) {1}
Carbon budgets
Regulation as a
driver for
innovation {3}
Security of
resources {1}
Office for Resource Management
Champion {5} [NB in discussion,
this referred to a ‘celebrity’ endorser
to help publicise RRfW.]
Education (school syllabus) {1}
Stick! {1} {NB i.e. penalties cf
Design for cradle-to-cradle [action
required from industry; some from
govt and academia] {6}
Live mapping of resource
availability [action required from
industry and govt]
“Make the right thing to do
the easy thing to do” [action
required from govt, plus industry
and academia] {10} [Emphasis
Education & engagement, public &
society (gov/ind/soc) {2}
recognise global concerns
(gov/soc) {2}
Funding innovation instead of
production {1}
Three groups of issues were identified:
1. Political and regulatory: The current focus on a ‘market failure’ approach to
encouraging RRfW is timid and ineffectual, driven by political dogma and a focus on
fiscal/financial metrics such as GDP rather than confronting issues at national (e.g.
resource security, jobs, wellbeing) and global (e.g. climate change) scales. An Office
for Resource Management (OfReM) should be established, moving the waste focus
from environmental protection to resource stewardship, with the power to e.g.
standardise data collection on resource flows, enforce carbon budgets and flexible
design regulation that drives the key innovation required in the sector which is:
2. Product design and resource responsibility: OfReM would incentivise ‘cradle-
to-cradle’ design than puts reusability, upgradeability, recyclability etc. first and
cheapness second, promoting long-term value. This would be strongly incentivised by
enforcing resource responsibility such that materials suppliers, product
manufacturers, users and reprocessors cannot ‘pass on’ responsibility for the life
cycle management of materials and components when a product leaves their part of
the system. A focus on business models that valorise service rather than materials
will be necessary, as has already happened in e.g. the aircraft power industry. This
would help prevent waste and force the hidden social and environmental costs of
materials processing to be internalised and accounted for. This would then
encourage all actors in the system, for their economic good, to participate in the
next point:
3. Education: Public perceptions of the value of materials need to change. We must
be cured of our addiction to new stuff and learn the value of our limited resources;
valuing longevity, service, quality and recyclability above rampant consumerism.
Changing consumer behaviour will change product design and vice versa. A
champion needs to be found, probably from the ‘celebrity’ arena (a la Jamie Oliver’s
food campaigns) who can connect with the public and help normalise resource
recovery behaviour. Above all, the system must be adjusted and presented such that
“the right thing to do becomes the easy thing to do” to move us towards a society
where waste is an unknown concept by 2050.
Next Steps
1. The outcomes of this workshop will also be summarised in an RRfW blogpost and a
publication for a relevant professional journal will be prepared.
2. During 2017 RRfW will continue engagement to understand the wide diversity in
industry perspectives on the:
Changing waste and resource management landscape
Drivers and barriers for change
Industry, government, academia and general public role in transition process
3. In support of the co-creation process (See first chapter on p4) RRfW will:
Organise individual meetings
Participate in trade association/ professional membership events
Facilitate further discussion between industry, government and academic
4. Use the emerging shared vision and approach to advice government and industry on
sustainable waste and resource management.
5. Publish the shared vision and approach in an international peer-reviewed journal.
The ideas presented in this report are the joined effort of a transdisciplinary team of
participants of the RRfW workshop in December 2016.
Alan Holmes, Independent, Former
Environment Agency
John Adams, Maltings Organic Treatment
Ana Suarez, University of Newcastle
Ken O’Callaghan, Ablephraser, Former
Andrew Goddard, Freeland Horticulture
Lynne Macaskie, University of Birmingham
Andrew Woodend, Defra
Malcolm Bailey, Link2Energy
Ben Herbert, Stopford Energy and
Matt Taylor, Aqua Enviro
Bernie Thomas, Resource Futures
Margaret Smallwood, BioVale
Chris Meyer, Birch Energy
Miller Camargo-Valero, University of Leeds
Danielle Sinnett, University of the West of
Mike Harbottle, Cardiff University
David Hardy, Hardy AVARR
Mike Tregent, Environment Agency
David Tompkins, Aqua Enviro
Oliver Zwirner, University of Leeds
Doug Stewart, University of Leeds
Paul Jensen, 4Innovation Research &
Gemma Ashman, Singleton Birch
Phil Purnell, University of Leeds
Giuliano Premier, University of South
Pete Metcalf, Wilson Biochemical
Henriette Christensen, University of
Peter Laybourn, International Synergies
Joe Ross, Biorenewables Development
Will Mayes, University of Hull
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