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All sectors can spark a revolve-ution in zero waste

Last week I helped launch Scotland’s Resource Sector Commitment up in sunny Moray. It’s a collective statement of intent by all those in the collections business to raise their game and show what they can do in the drive for a ‘zero waste’ society. 

Iain Gulland - Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland | 24 Apr 13

This commitment re-emphasises the role of recycling collections, and those who carry them out, outlining their pivotal role in the supply of high quality resources to help Scotland further develop its emerging resource efficient, circular economy. It was great to see such support. While at times it may feel challenging to individual companies, ultimately, by playing their part, there will be rewards as the benefits accrue. 

At the heart of the commitment there’s the re-defining of the relationship between the ‘bin guys’ and their commercial customer base. Often defined as a ‘back door service’ the trade waste service will undoubtedly become a front door and board room partnership, shaping resource efficiency solutions for shared economic, environmental and societal benefit.

If the Scottish collection sector is in any doubt of the value of committing to such a journey then they should look no further than to the third sector reuse organisations which have committed to, and embraced, the Revolve accreditation scheme developed by Zero Waste Scotland in partnership with the CRNS. 

This is a voluntary agreement which aims to help the reuse groups raise their game by creating a new profile and focusing on their customer service for increased environmental, economic and social benefit.  Sound familiar? 

It hasn’t been easy. Change doesn’t happen overnight - but on Monday I awarded the 10 latest organisations to achieve the accreditation standard. These groups have definitely been on a journey but are already seeing the impact through increased sales, motivated staff and increased customer satisfaction.

Sometimes the Zero Waste vision can appear to be high level, strategic, or inaccessible, but for these Revolve members, being part of the zero waste journey offers a tangible and relevant reality to not only their own businesses but the communities in which they operate. 

I’ve always kept with me my impressions of the Kringloop network from when I visited Flanders a few years ago. How inspiring it is to see in Scotland a network of accredited reuse outlets which will offer the same opportunity for significant local and national impacts. 

These enterprises are now getting recognition for their commitment and the improvements they have made. It makes sense for them to do what they can to ensure that the services they provide to their communities and their environment are as effective as they need to be, and in turn they are now being rewarded with new business opportunities and partnerships. I would urge everyone to go look for themselves - whether you’re a potential consumer looking for a bike or a sofa or a jumper, or a professional intrigued to see a revolve-ution in action. 

For the collectors who gathered in Moray and those who are watching with interest but are still considering whether the new resource sector commitment is for them , I’d say: look into the crystal ball that is Revolve. Revolve is a success worth shouting about and following. It’s not just a label but a commitment which permeates the whole fabric of the individual organisations involved - delivering real business change - all for the benefit of the triple bottom line. The resource sector commitment has that ability to do the same. Our vision of a world leading resource sector driving our zero waste ambitions ever forward needs commitment. Sign up now.

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