Unlocking the power of positivity in 2023

5 January 2023

There was not a day last year when someone, somewhere around the world, wasn’t touched by the impact of climate change. There is no sign this will abate in 2023.

Climate change view of two planets with a tree


In fact, there is every risk it will get worse if we cannot resolve the tension between economic growth and the climate crisis. Our reliance on fossil fuels to power the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and lessen the cost of living has pushed emissions to an all-time high. Finding a way to decouple economic growth from material use must be uppermost in minds as we embark on another critical year for people and planet.

I am an optimist by nature, but also by necessity. We cannot be defeatist as that would make climate calamity an inevitability. And while there is lots to feel gloomy about as we embark on 2023 there is also lots happening which demonstrate the best of human ingenuity, resilience, collaboration, and courage, within which we possess the solution to the climate emergency. At WRAP, we choose to focus on harnessing the power of positivity and of possibility.


Power to innovate

The shift to a circular economy starts with design; creating products and business models which reduce the pressure on natural resources, reduce fossil fuels use, and which are made to be recyclable, or re-usable. At WRAP, we are supporting innovation in food, plastics, textiles, recycling infrastructure and litter; in the UK and abroad. The £6.5 million Circular Economy Fund which we manage in Wales, for example, has supported businesses who are finding ingenious ways to increase recycled content in goods and extend the lifetime of products.

Increasingly people are choosing to consume with their values as well as their wallets, whether it is buying vintage, upcycling, repairing goods, and reducing food waste. That symbiosis makes a powerful recipe for change and promises significant economic and environmental benefits. We will be pushing ever harder in 2023 to make this consumption model the norm in our daily lives.

I am an optimist by nature, but also by necessity. We cannot be defeatist as that would make climate calamity an inevitability.

Power to collaborate

It’s often said there is too much talking, and not enough action. But I believe the two need to work in unison. Collaboration relies on honest dialogue, the pooling of expert voices, and resolving problems that have led to inertia. Only from there can practical, system-wide solutions be unlocked.

The climate crisis is a global one, so solutions have to involve working together across borders, across supply chains, and across sectors.

We’ve shown how it can be done through the power of partnership bringing supply chains together, underpinned by smart, government policies (which unlock investment), and supporting citizens to play their part. 2023 will be a year when we accelerate action through our existing voluntary agreements in food, plastics and textiles, alongside expanding our network globally. We will also work in a more aligned, mutually reinforcing way with key global partners, to increase our impact.

Power to educate

Those with an investment in the status quo are reluctant to embrace change without evidence (the why), and without guidance (the how). This is true of governments, business leaders, and all of us in our daily lives.

Focussing on plugging data gaps, providing the ground-breaking evidence which demonstrates the economic and environmental case for change, and unlocks barriers, will remain a priority for WRAP in 2023.

Whether this be to guide well-designed government policies, encourage changes in business practices, or to support citizens to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives, we believe that the best kind of transformation is informed by the best kind of data.

Power is in our hands

Failure to fix climate change will lead to hunger, health crises, extinction of species which have inhabited the earth for millions of years, and catastrophic weather events. Succeed and we restore the planet to all its life and health sustaining, equality enhancing, poverty eradicating, replenishing worth. WRAP will continue to work every day and every year, to accomplish our vision of a world where climate change is no longer a problem.