Gavin Graveson, executive vice-president of UK and Ireland for Veolia, became chairman of the Environmental Services Association (ESA) at its annual general meeting last Friday (27 November).
He assumes the post for the next two years – taking over from outgoing chairman, Phil Piddington, CEO of Viridor.
In his role, Graveson will continue and extend the activities of the association, including working with Defra and other stakeholders on the detail behind the resources and waste strategy – the next round of consultations are due in spring.
He will also be handling the introduction of the plastic packaging tax in April 2022 as well as consulting with the Treasury about boosting recycling rates and driving investment in the UK’s recycling infrastructure.
Other key areas of business will include:
- Managing the industry challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit on 1 January.
- A new strategy driving higher standards with common, consistent reporting for Health and safety.
- Working more closely with the Environment Agency on regulation to overcome challenges around permitting delays and inconsistent enforcement.
- Addressing the practical issues regarding contamination levels and changes to the Basel Convention that will affect exports.
- Ensuring that ESA members set the gold standard for energy-from-waste operations and support connections to district heating.
Graveson said: “I would like to thank Phil for his commitment and achievements as well as the resilience shown by ESA members as key workers during the pandemic. The industry stands poised to play a vital role in decarbonising the UK, ahead of COP26 next year.
“The public is really engaged on the topic of carbon and climate change, and we should be proud of what we've done to cut emissions. But we can also do more, and I’m excited by the work the recently created ESA Climate Change Working Group is doing and will look to drive this agenda forward to build a better, more circular and sustainable future.”
Jacob Hayler, ESA’s executive director, said: “I would like to thank Phil for his time as ESA chairman over the past two years, and for helping the organisation to deliver much of the important work outlined in our first Annual Report, published last week. We look forward to working closely with Gavin to deliver our new organisational strategy as ESA members continue to gear up for the biggest policy shake-up in a generation, while also leading our sector’s pursuit of net-zero carbon emissions.”