17 December 2021
2021 has been a year of light and shade in so many ways.
I do not know anyone who has not been marked by COVID in some way. At the same time, we have had the wonder of vaccines being developed so quickly to protect us and hopefully offer a pathway back to some form of normality. It remains a continuing battle though and COVID is showing again how difficult it is to beat.
It has also been a year where the world’s attention has been on climate change. Although the final outcome was imperfect for many, COP26 felt like a watershed moment that signalled a real intent from governments and businesses to take action. The masses protesting on the streets in Glasgow reminded them that they will be held to account for their promises.
Racism and inequality have been the other long shadow of the year. I hope the backlash and soul-searching it evoked will pave the way for diversity and inclusion to become the norm. I am particularly proud of our efforts this year making WRAP a more diverse and inclusive place to work and especially of having achieved Investors in Diversity accreditation.
Despite all the challenges, we have had an incredibly successful year – and have built a strong springboard as we ramp up our work in the UK and internationally to be part of the ‘Drive to One Point Five’. This will be a key priority for us in 2022 and beyond.
We produced seminal pieces of work which showed how it IS possible to significantly reduce GHG emissions through using resources efficiently, in food, clothing and plastics. Courtauld 2030 and Textiles 2030 put climate action front and centre with their commitments to halve GHG emissions by 2030. The UK Plastics Pact continues to move us towards our circular vision to tackle plastic pollution.
Our models are gathering traction around the world too - we are now supporting change in more than 40 countries across six continents.
This would have been impossible without the response we have had from our partners. The fact they have given us their continued attention during such difficult times is testament to the strength of our partnerships and the importance of our joint mission.
This year has demonstrated what is possible. With collaboration, commitment, and courage, we must continue to work together to give people and planet the best possible gift: a future.