Casually dressed colleagues sitting around a table discussing work

Keith James

Name: Keith James
Role: Head of Policy & Insights

Colour portrait photograph of Keith James with green foliage in the background

I always wanted a job which had positive environmental impacts. When I was growing up, I felt like so many positive changes were happening that anything was possible. The Montreal Protocol, the Bruntland Commission, the end of apartheid in South Africa, reintroducing condors to California - it felt like the world was ready to face up to problems and act on them. So, when I applied for a job at WRAP in 2006, it felt like I was joining an organisation that would be an agent of positive change. And 17 years later, it still feels this way.

I can see how the work we do makes a difference to policy, businesses, and people; ultimately leading to changes in practices which can address climate change. It’s great to be able to explore the art of the possible, and then distil this into specific actions. That’s something we do a lot of at WRAP.

The first project I worked on was the Environmental Benefits of Recycling, making the clear environmental case for recycling and settling several debates. I was able to build on this, informing the waste hierarchies established across the UK. I have since developed a range of partnership projects, for example, to identify the social and environmental benefits of reuse, and give the UK Government confidence to include WRAP’s actions in carbon reduction strategies since 2017; in particular, on circular economy and food waste.

Since right from the beginning, WRAP has been a great place to develop my career, meet so many inspiring people and deliver meaningful work. When I joined, I was expecting to stay for two to three years before moving on. I didn’t think I would have so much opportunity to progress my career in the organisation, so I’m delighted to have been able to do this.

I joined as Environment Manager, but quickly became an advisor on environmental research. I have led WRAP’s work on textiles and healthy sustainable eating, been Government Account Manager and am currently Head of Policy and Insights.  

What I’m most proud of is building and developing the Policy and Insights team at WRAP, ensuring that together, we can produce thought-leading insights that inform policy, business practices, and our day-to-day lives. 

It's been enjoyable to be part of such a variety of work at WRAP. I’m fortunate to have had supportive managers who have given me the opportunity to continually grow and develop, and I hope that I give my team that same opportunity.

Connect on LinkedIn