Iain Gulland, CEO of Zero Waste Scotland, has been renewed as President of the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+). Supported by the other 11 members of the Board of Directors, he will support the network in delivering concrete solutions envisioning circular economy as a tool to tackle current environmental challenges.
The CEO of Zero Waste Scotland, Iain Gulland, has been re-elected as the President of the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+) during the 2022 General Assembly of the network last 9-10 June in Brussels. It will be Gulland’s third term, following his first election in 2018. Iain Gulland is to serve another two-year tenure, until 2024, and will lead ACR+’s work to support circular economy and increase capacities of local authorities regarding resource efficiency. He has more than 30 years’ experience in sustainable resource management, including initiating recycling systems in the public and third sectors. Zero Waste Scotland leads on the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy strategy and other low carbon policy priorities, and is at the forefront of efforts to create a resource efficient, circular economy.
Iain Gulland was re-elected along with two vice-presidents, Fernando Leite representing the Intermunicipal Waste Management Service of Greater Porto - LIPOR (PT) and Hugh Coughlan representing the Eastern Midlands Waste Region (IE), and a treasurer Michael D. Hansen representing the city of Odense. The ACR+ Board of Directors is completed by the following members, also re-elected unanimously during the General Assembly: the city of The Hague, the regions of Catalonia (ES), Arnhem Nijmegen (NL), Brussels (BE), Pays de la Loire (FR), Sardinia (IT), and the two waste companies SERIT (for the Verona province - IT) and WasteServ Malta (MT).
Iain Gulland, ACR+ new President, said “It is a privilege to be re-elected as President of ACR+ and to have the opportunity to support a renewed vigour for circular economy among ACR+ members and wider society. I am looking forward to continuing the work done so far and contribute to a crucial network of practitioners who actually make things happen on the ground for citizens.”
Practical action is indeed at the heart of ACR+; the network builds connections between its members (and other key actors) to share and collaborate on the delivery of concrete solutions to embrace the transition to a circular economy as a tool to tackle environmental challenges with a holistic perspective.
Thus, in addition to an open session that saw key experts discussing how to empower the sustainable transition and build a circular resilient Europe, the ACR+ General Assembly included a whole afternoon dedicated to thematic discussion groups. Participants tackled four themes: Circular and Green Public Procurement: a powerful tool to shape the transition towards a Circular Economy; Sustainable Food Systems: aligning local action to EU targets and global challenges; Sustainable textiles: from EU strategy to local systems; EPR principles as a tool to change our relationship with waste and products.
Conclusions were various and show the direction taken by the network to make both circularity and climate-neutrality a reality, by seeing the big picture but also applying a territorial hierarchy and working at local level. These include for example shedding more lights on small-scale initiatives and projects which are also just as successful as bigger ones, taking into consideration the socio-cultural aspects or adopting when needed a tailored approach fitting the local contexts.