Field: Carbon footprint, Dissemination of information, Providing financing, Sustainable consumption
Global Technical function: Promoting sustainable practices
Technical Function Unit: Combining activities, Designing indicators, Disseminating, Networking, Performance contract, Performance standard, Promoting information sharing, Providing support (advise/consultancy), Raising consumer awareness, Strategic planning, Supporting local communities, Sustainability criteria
Geographic Area: United Kingdom

WRAP

WRAP is a non-for profit company in Great Britain, providing support and a platform for organisations to work together to measure, improve and communicate on environmental performance, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.[1]

 

The objective of WRAP’s work is to minimise resource use, divert materials from landfill, and create a market for recycled materials. This is achieved by providing advice and support to businesses and public agencies to address innovation, and resource and waste challenges in products, and supply chains. 

The challenge

The scarcity of resources is a global challenge. One part of the solution is certainly waste management based on the growing understanding that 'waste' is actually 'material with value', and consequently governments increased efforts to tackle these issues.[2] Promoting sustainable practices requires the collaborative action of stakeholders such as manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and investors. Further developing the measurement of the environmental performance of products can give support to the innovation competences of firms by combining activities and setting a performance standard for sustainability criteria.

The innovation

WRAP was established as a not-for-profit-company in the year 2000 to help promote recycling in the United Kingdom. Active in both the grocery and home improvement sectors, it brings together a wide range of partners, from major UK businesses, trade bodies and local authorities, right through to individuals, in order to achieve the best results.[4] Voluntary agreements have meanwhile been made with many sectors. In 2012, a 2020 vision was launched.[5] Additionally, WRAP is involved in establishing several funding schemes across the UK, leading to successful action plans such as for instance PIRAP[6], DIAD[7], ARID[8], or SCAP.[9]

 

Why did it work?
Funding comes from all UK governments, other public sector organisations and the EU.[11] An independent board and an Executive Committee guide the strategic planning, facilitating the dissemination of informationproviding financing as well as access to knowledge. WRAP does not offer membership, but businesses can sign up to join performance contracts which offer solutions to various sectors by networkingpromoting information sharing, and consequently raising consumer awareness and supporting local communities.[12]

 

Further deployment

The concept of WRAP is ready for further deployment, qualifying it for an estimated level 9GML 9on the generic maturity scale GML. In 2013 a report was published on the environmental impact of grocery products as well as a range of practical guidelines to help move  towards more sustainable consumption. Additionally, pathfinder projects are available to learn from good practice examples.[15] With its innovative holistic approach, PSF facilitates disseminating information on the sustainability of products by providing easily accessible and comprehensible information on sustainability in the retail industry. [16] Designing indicators as well as increasing the understanding and implementation of eco-innovation in the retail sector will help to reduce the environmental and social impacts, i.e. carbon footprint, associated with global consumption.


Links:

 


[1] http://www.wrap.org.uk/node/479

[2] http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/about-wrap

[4] http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/what-we-do-0

[6] industry initiative (Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan, http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Plastics%20Industry%20Recycling%20Action%20Plan.pdf)

[7] Driving Innovation in Anaerobic Digestion programme (http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/category/role/anaerobic-digestion-operator)

[8] Recycled Content Fund (http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/arid-recycled-content-fund-wmd0022)

[9] Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/sustainable-clothing-action-plan-1

[11] http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/what-we-do-0

[12] http://www.wrap.org.uk/node/18898

[15] http://www.wrap.org.uk/node/479