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| be Waste Wise | May 16, 2022

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Is There Such a Thing as a Sustainable Consumer?

Is There Such a Thing as a Sustainable Consumer?
January 25, 2022 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm UTC Timezone

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With 60% of carbon emissions and 70% of biodiversity loss globally linked with consumption, the topic of how we curb and change the way we consume the things we use, wear and eat every day is starting to gather momentum. But what is sustainable consumption, and how do we help individuals, organisations and governments understand and take action to make it a reality for all?”

Stephen Bates, Behaviour Change and Communications Expert

Stephen has close to 40 years of front line public communications experience, the past 25 of which have been dedicated to the field of behaviour change communications within the waste sector. Initially supporting UK local authorities as the country implemented the EU Landfill Directive (it’s estimated that half of all UK households have been positively influenced by his work), he went on to dispense his skills and insight internationally, working in 30 countries supporting the waste sector, environmental and societal reform through the use of strategic and tactical behaviour change communications. In 2019, he founded Mobius, a behaviour change communications agency working internationally, helping public sector institutions improve how they manage waste, increase visibility and embrace the circular economy practice.

Jen Gale, Founder @Sustainable(ish)

In September 2012, Jen decided it would be a ‘fun’ challenge to spend a year buying nothing new and dragged the rest of her family along for the ride. That year, she learned that all of her actions make a difference, positive or negative and that through getting informed, she could make different choices, create new habits, and have a more positive impact. Fast forward seven years and that simple blog that started life as My Make Do and Mend Year, is now Sustainable(ish), a CIC on a mission to make sustainable living the norm, break down the mung-bean eating, yoghurt weaving stereotypes of ‘green living’ and empower easy, simple actions for all. The ethos at Sustainable(ish) is that no change is too small, and the focus is on progress, not ‘eco-perfection’.

Emma Burlow, Founder @Lighthouse Sustainability

Emma Burlow is the founder of Lighthouse Sustainability. She is one of the UK’s leading specialists on circular economy and sustainability in businesses. She has worked with business on sustainability for 25 years. She has an excellent overview of how to manage large scale projects, alongside the detail of what drives individual businesses and ultimately, sustainability outcomes. This experience gives Emma a unique depth of understanding of the critical success factors for implementing more circular business models, particularly the importance of understanding the financial model, establishing key partnerships and understanding the marketplace. She works with established businesses to help them find a pragmatic, solid pathway through sustainability, carbon and circularity, supports start-ups to disrupt conventional industries and delivers bespoke training.

In 2020, Emma started her #CE100 series to profile businesses working in the circular economy. Her network continues to grow, and she uses this to catalyse the rapid change we need to meet future sustainability challenges. Emma was the Head of Circular Economic at Resource Futures from 2016-2020. She grew the business’s CE capacity to a successful team across England and Scotland working with clients such as Waitrose, Central England Co-op Beko, WRAP and Zero Waste Scotland. Emma was the project manager and delivery consultant for the WRAP REBus project between 2014 and 2016. Emma is a Director of SevernNet; a circular economy focused business network in the Avonmouth area and leader of the Circular Economy Club (Bristol-SevernNet) chapter.


Sarah Ottaway, Sustainability and Social Value Lead @SUEZ recycling and recovery UK

Sarah Ottaway became SUEZ recycling and recovery UK’s Sustainability and Social Value Lead in 2019, after 12 years delivering various programmes related to service enhancement, innovation and behaviour change in SUEZ’s public sector operations. In 2018 and 2019, Sarah was included in the Lets Recycle 35 under 35 “young guns” due to her efforts having a notable impact in the resources sector. Sarah is currently responsible for developing the sustainability of SUEZ’s services and leading the continual improvement of its social value impact, while utilising her experiences to support SUEZ’s policy and circular economy activities.

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