Scottish business leaders to attend Waste to Wealth event

Alan Thornburrow. Picture: TSPL
Alan Thornburrow. Picture: TSPL

Around 150 innovative business leaders across all sectors in Scotland will hear from high-profile business leaders and politicians next month at an event aimed at transforming waste into new wealth.

Scotland’s Waste to Wealth, organised by Business in the Community (BITC) in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, will be held at Glasgow’s 200 SVS on 19 February.

Innovative businesses from all sectors are invited to explore individual and collaborative plans to tackle the challenge, and identify solutions to increase Scotland’s resource productivity while reducing waste by 2030.

Delegates will hear from Jeremy Darroch, chairman of BITC and chief executive of Sky, Alan Thornburrow, BITC’s Scotland Director, and Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at BITC.

It comes as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its stark October warning that there are just 12 years to mitigate the risk of catastrophic climate change by changing our relationship with resources.

Key aims of the afternoon-long event are:

• To introduce the Waste to Wealth commitment to Scotland and outline the action plan, which will help businesses deliver on this commitment, encouraging new signatories

• Provide expert input on key areas of waste management, which we must tackle together in order to achieve the commitment

• Showcase businesses who are innovating in this space already, to provide inspiration and recognise the progress being made.

An Innovation Zone will invite businesses to share their stories of innovation, and a panel session will feature Tim Doubleday, chief financial officer of Burger King UK and chairman of the Environment Leadership Team at BITC and Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, among others.

Alan Thornburrow said: “The event’s focus is across the economy, but there are four core themes we really want to get into on the day.

“One of them is the food and drink sector, so that will be looking at the issue of food waste.

“The second is the built environment and construction, and the third is an initiative that we run called The Circular Office, so that’s very much looking the circularity of how we run offices and the supply chain.

“The last theme is natural capitals, so that involves thinking about just that – land water and all the rest of it.”

Guests can attend two of the four themed breakout events, each lasting 35-40 minutes.

Thornburrow added: “This builds on a major national summit that we had in London in November, with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Michael Gove and others and there were some really practical examples.

“For example, one company was taking Waitrose tomato vines and using that in packaging, while another was using langoustines again to produce plastic-type packaging for some of their goods.”

Scotland’s Waste to Wealth runs from 12pm to 4pm on Tuesday, 19 February at 200 SVS, Glasgow. For more information visit