A round of redundancies has begun at government-funded resource efficiency organisations in a bid to save more than £5M.
Under a restructuring exercise commencing on April 1, the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will provide a one-stop-shop for advice on resource efficiency, subsuming within it a group of other organisations - including Envirowise,the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), Action for Sustainability and the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme.
The move would help save £5.2M, said a WRAP spokeswoman. “WRAP is continuing to finalise plans for redundancy. We can confirm that as a result of bringing together the seven resource efficiency programmes there will be nine redundancies, potentially with five more.”
She added: “WRAP is also in discussion with the previous delivery organisations regarding the transfer of staff under TUPE [Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment] regulations.”
However, there would not be a reduction in services, she insisted: “It’s a streamlining exercise, we had all these different organisations looking at resource efficiency, so it made sense to bring them together so people can find support all in one place. There will be one single point of contact.”
The Envirowise brand will continue to exist for another three to six months, she revealed. “Some Envirowise staff will move over to WRAP, some will be made redundant and some will go back to work directly for AEA Technology - which has historically managed Envirowise anyway.”
Some activities would still be funded by the government but contracted out to AEA, she added.
NISP will continue to exist, but would lose its direct government funding, she said.
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: “From April, WRAP will provide all advice and support funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on resource efficiency in England. That means WRAP will be the first port of call for businesses and consumers for advice on avoiding waste, reducing waste, and recycling.
“All websites, help numbers and direct support will over the coming months be merged into one. The key contact points will be the WRAP website www.wrap.org.uk and helpline 0808 100 2040.
“Other websites and helplines for previously funded government programmes including Envirowise and NISP will cease to exist. We are excited about the new opportunities that these changes present. It will provide a streamlined service for those we work with, delivering financial and environmental benefits to businesses and consumers in a way which delivers value for money for the taxpayer.”
Launched in 2000, WRAP was set up to develop markets for material resources that would otherwise have become waste. It recently launched a new project to calculate the amount of food and packaging waste generated by pre-prepared foods and has also announced three 2012 targets for phase two of the Courtauld Commitment covering greenhouse gas emissions from grocery packaging and food and packaging waste from households and supermarkets.