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Who we are

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change. 

Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy. 

We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

Our structure

As a company limited by guarantee, Zero Waste Scotland’s board is comprised of six non-executive directors, one of whom is the chair, and one executive director, who is the chief executive officer. Company membership includes Scottish ministers alongside our non-executive directors.

How we are funded

We are funded by the Scottish Government and receive funding from the European Structural Funds Programme to help accelerate our circular economy and resource efficiency work with SMEs in Scotland.

As a publicly-funded organisation, we are accountable for what we do and we want to lead by example. This is why we publish copies of our financial and environmental performance. 

Zero Waste Scotland CEO Iain Gulland with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

What we have achieved so far

We enter this new corporate plan after a successful period since the formation of the company in 2014. In that time, our work has seen Scotland recognised internationally as one of the leading nations driving a circular economy. Our key achievements include:

  • Transforming attitudes to food waste. We have helped to reduce household food waste by 7% between 2011 and 2015 and supported councils, which now provide food waste recycling services for 80% of Scottish households.
  • Supporting the implementation of the 5p carrier bag charge which saw distribution of single-use bags fall by 80% in the first full year since it came into effect.
  • Implementing lifetime cost savings of more than £200 million, by avoiding more than 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions between 2013-2017 through advice to businesses on saving energy, water and waste from Resource Efficient Scotland.
  • Creating the Revolve quality standard, in partnership with the reuse sector. In August 2017 we achieved the milestone of 150 Revolve stores being certified through the programme – a number which continues to rise.
  • Delivering the Circular Economy Investment Fund and supporting the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, both backed by European investment, to develop game-changing innovation and infrastructure for a more resource efficient, circular economy.
  • Contributing our expertise to the voluntary code of practice which underpins the Scottish Household Recycling Charter, setting out how Scottish councils can move to consistent, high quality recycling services nationwide.
  • Working with government and other agencies to jointly win the World Economic Forum: Circulars Award 2017 for Cities and Governments and hosting a major international Circular Economy Hotspot in 2018.

Financial performance

Details of our income and expenditure and how we use it are published annually in our financial statements.

The most recent statements are those for 2017/18.

Environmental performance

Details of the environmental objectives we set as an organisation and how we have performed against them are also published on an annual basis.

The most recent report on performance is for Q4 2018-19.

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