Our annual members survey results always offer a useful basis for reflection and consideration of the best route forward, and that has never been more important than in 2020.
Having just collated information from our 2020 members survey, I was absolutely delighted to see that we have had yet another significant increase (year on year) in the number of respondents who are interested in our activities beyond core compliance services, with 69% of members agreeing that they are interested in our focus on making an impact.
Although any survey has to be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’, it is certainly heartening to know that the vast majority of our customers are interested, or actively engaged, in many of the exciting initiatives we are running and are involved with. This absolutely fuels our enthusiasm to continue to challenge ourselves, and our sector, to do more.
Strong values and clear passion
When I joined Ecosurety nearly three years ago, oddly enough it wasn’t because I had a sudden burning desire to leave my nine-year career in the automotive industry to learn more about packaging, WEEE, and batteries compliance. It was because of the strong values and clear, genuine passion at Ecosurety to make a positive impact on both the environment and society that really resonated with me.
My background was, amongst more operational responsibilities, focused on promoting sustainable travel and behaviour change initiatives, and I’d come into contact with Ecosurety when I saw some of the team collecting a sustainable travel award for their CSR project, Join My Journey.
Ecosurety win a 2016 Travel West Award for joinmyjourney.org
Over the coming months, I learnt even more about Ecosurety and the team, which reinforced my feeling about the company. So when an opportunity came up to join them, despite having to take a pretty scary leap out of my comfort zone, I knew it was the right thing to do. I’m as excited now as I was then to be part of the Ecosurety story.
I’m sure lots of us have had similar experiences, either through personal decision making or when professionally choosing business partners. We make an assessment of the practicalities, benefits and potential risks, but ultimately we also follow our gut instinct. We start our decision making by asking “Why?”, being led by our values and what we believe to be right.
A drive for change for good
The thing that personally resonated with me so powerfully was Ecosurety’s “Why” - the drive for ‘Change for good’. It is a notion that underpins the company culture and all that we do, including our mission to increase recycling and turn compliance from what many have historically perceived as a ‘tax’, into an opportunity to deliver value – to producers and recyclers - and ultimately tangible environmental outputs.
The importance of Ecosurety’s “Why” cannot be underestimated - it clearly also resonates powerfully with the many producers and industry stakeholders who collaborate with us to make a change for good. It is this shared foundation and passion that has driven our approach to find ways to use our business, and the mechanism of the producer responsibility regimes in which we operate, to invest in recycling infrastructure, innovation and consumer awareness.
By collaborating with our members and stakeholders from multiple sectors we deliver positive impact and help regulators to deliver effective reforms. You can see examples of some of our initiatives and recent activities in our latest impact report.
As the cost of compliance has spiralled to unprecedented levels for many producers, our approach has continued to resonate with an increasing number of producers who are searching for greater transparency and value from the money they are paying into the system.
This has given us the opportunity to find more ways to make an impact, but we would not profess to be the experts in every aspect of resources and waste or the development of a circular economy, and we certainly don’t have all the answers. Rather, we are led by our purpose, and collaborate with our partners to identify good opportunities to make a difference and create solutions.
A manifestation of our commitment
Our recent certification as a B Corp is a manifestation of our commitment to hold ourselves to the highest standards and purpose as we continue to grow as a business. Despite the unprecedented times we are experiencing throughout (and no doubt, post) COVID-19, and with positive reforms to EPR on the horizon, we continue to see ever-more opportunities to collaborate with so many incredible companies and individuals, to reduce the impact of packaging, WEEE, and batteries on the environment in the short and medium term.
I’m a firm believer that business can be a vehicle for positive change, and in many cases deliver change quicker than regulators. Increasingly, businesses leading that change will be rewarded with growth and customer loyalty as consumer focus on environmental issues and sustainability trends continues to grow. Indeed, a report from The Co-op last year estimated the total ethical spend in the UK had quadrupled in the last 20 years to over £41bn.
It is also vital that as businesses and government work to restart and re-build the economy post ‘lockdown’, leaders do not simply accept a return to the ‘old normal’, but instead seize the opportunities to enable and accelerate the adoption of genuinely more sustainable business practices and consumption of resources.
Within that context, as a producer responsibility organisation we are keen to continue to do everything we can to add tangible value to the system and to the wider resources and waste sector, supporting producers on their sustainability journeys.
Should you be collaborating with us too?
I hope this has been an interesting article and inspires more of our members and other stakeholders to get in touch to explore how we can collaborate further. To discuss ideas and challenges relating to reducing the environmental impact of WEEE, batteries, and packaging further, please do contact our team!
As head of partnerships Jon is responsible for overseeing the sales, marketing and client services teams. Building strong relationships with industry and delivering business value to our members is paramount, with the ultimate goal of driving forward the positive impact Ecosurety has on increasing ethical and quality recycling. Fair to say he is a busy man!