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Board appointments for Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland has announced a number of new appointments and reappointments to its Board.  

13 Dec 17

Vic Emery is reappointed as chair of the board and John Watt is reappointed as a non-executive director. In addition, Morag MacDonald, Gerard O'Sullivan, Janet Swadling, and Helen Wollaston are appointed as new non-executive directors.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, welcomed the appointments.

Ms Cunningham said:

“Scotland is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading nations for the circular economy and the unique expertise of Zero Waste Scotland is a key factor in that global track record.

“That’s why I’m delighted that Vic Emery will continue his work as Chair of Zero Waste Scotland.  He has led the organisation with vision and commitment since its creation in 2014 and his strong leadership and wealth of strategic relationships are tremendous assets. 

“In also announcing four new appointments and one reappointment, I am confident that Zero Waste Scotland has the breadth of skills and experience it needs at Board level to deliver on our ambitions for a circular economy.

“I’m also pleased that the new non-executive team will be gender balanced ahead of the Scottish Government introducing legislation on this in the current Parliament.”


Notes For Editors


Vic Emery is a retired businessman and industrialist with an extensive career in shipbuilding, culminating in heading up BAE Systems operations on the Clyde.  He was notably the first Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, serving from 2012-15.   Between January 2011 and March 2013 Vic also played a major governance and advisory role in bringing the Edinburgh trams project back on track for completion.  He is also currently Chair of the Scottish Maritime Museum and Chair of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and a Board member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.  He was awarded an OBE in May 2008 for services to shipbuilding. 


Morag MacDonald is a creative, successful business leader and chartered accountant with a 30-year career in senior roles in industry, private practice and the not for profit sector. She is currently Chief Operating Officer for Melville Housing Association in Midlothian and has enjoyed senior finance and governance roles in tech companies, housing bodies and professional services firms.  She brings extensive board experience as a chief officer, board member and board adviser with a strong track record in delivering business strategy, change management and operational projects. Most recently, Morag won the annual CIH Excellence in Leadership Award having been nominated by employees of her current organisation.

Gerard O Sullivan brings significant public and private sector career experiences to the Board. Having previously held high profile commercial roles in the global technology sector, Gerard has most recently worked as Director of Corporate Operations with Stirling Council.  He has been a member of a number of social enterprise and charity boards in Scotland.  Gerard holds an MBA from London Business School and is passionate about sustainability, circular economy and social enterprise.

Janet Swadling was, until very recently, the Deputy Principal and Chief Executive of Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and during the period 2013 to 2016, she was the Acting Principal and Chief Executive and Accountable Officer.  She has served as a director of SRUC and its predecessor companies from 2001 and has held other non-executive director roles since 2003.  She is qualified as a Chartered Secretary/Governance Professional and has an MBA from Heriot Watt.

John Watt is an experienced infrastructure and corporate finance advisor for both public and private sector clients. He is a qualified chartered accountant.  After a number of years working for a merchant bank and in professional services firms he established his own consultancy business, Annequin Associates.  His other interests include Board-level roles with Inspired Education (South Lanarkshire) Limited, Social Investment Scotland and the Ethical Finance Hub Limited.

Helen Wollaston is Chief Executive of WISE, a campaign for gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  WISE operates as a social enterprise, providing expert support and advice to help recruit and retain women in traditionally male industries. She has held board roles within the NHS and in the charity sector, including as Chair of YWCA England and Wales. She also sits on the Management Advisory Board for Leeds University Business School. She loves Scotland's wild places, cares deeply about the natural environment and looks forward to contributing to the vital work of Zero Waste Scotland. 

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive Officer, continues as an executive member of the Board.


Three appointments (Vic, Gerard and Morag) are for three-year terms and three are for four-year terms (Janet, John, Helen) and all will commence from 13th December 2017.


The Chair is part-time and attracts a remuneration of £10,140 per year for a time commitment of 30 days.

Board Members are part-time and attract a remuneration of £6,024 per year for a time commitment of 24 days.


Vic Emery’s role as Chair of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority is appointed by UK Ministers.


All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.  

There is no political activity to declare.

**Please note, pics are available on request**

  • Zero Waste Scotland was established in 2014 to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy, resource efficiency and other low carbon policy priorities.   It is Scotland’s expert organisation for a circular economy and its work helps Scotland to reap the environmental, economic and social benefits of making things last.
  • The Board oversees the governance of the organisation and is accountable to Scottish Ministers.  Zero Waste Scotland employs around 100 staff, based in Stirling, and is established as a company limited by guarantee.  It receives funding from the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste and Energy policy teams, some of which is used to match fund a £73m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme, running until 31 December 2019. 
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit the website or follow @scotgovESIF.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | LinkedIn

For media enquiries contact:

Claire Munro, PR Manager                                                                                                         
m: 07702976594
e: Claire.munro@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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