Our role in developing the circular economy

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resource futures role in developing the circular economy

Sustainable consumption

We develop and deliver innovative community engagement and education services to change consumer behaviour.

Our role in developing the circular economy

  • Sustainable consumption

    Sustainable consumption

    We develop and deliver innovative community engagement and education services to change consumer behaviour.

  • Post-consumption


    We provide services to increase the uptake of re-use and recycling.

  • Re-processing


    We analyse the recycled materials market using primary data and industry intelligence, focusing on materials availability and quality for re-entry to the supply chain.

  • Sustainable production

    Sustainable production

    We advise on the use of recycled materials, including material sources and values, and assess the life cycle of products.

About us

Our mission is at the heart of everything we do: to help others to use resources efficiently and effectively, minimising the impact of consumption on the environment now and for the future.

Since 1985 we have been working with public, private and third sector organisations to instigate positive change, and we are committed to using our skills, expertise and experience in the drive to develop a circular economy.

Some of our clients

Our people

These are our people, who work to realise our vision: a circular economy in which resources are used and re-used efficiently and effectively, minimising the impact of consumption and production on the environment.

Jane Stephenson

Chief Executive Officer

She has been responsible for developing and leading on a range of initiatives including waste reduction strategies and plans; local authority-wide community engagement campaigns and partnership work with third sector organisations. It is no accident that Bristol, the home of Resource Futures, has the highest recycling rate of England’s Core Cities. Jane is one of a small group within the industry calling - and has consistently argued throughout her career - for an increased focus on waste prevention and re-use and the collection of high quality recycled materials: essential ingredients in the progression towards a circular economy.

Her work includes the direction of:

  • Community Action Groups (CAG) Project in Oxfordshire (current)
  • Development of a tool to measure the impact of community action on waste and carbon (current)
  • Education work in Devon, Brighton and Hove and Bath and NE Somerset
  • A waste reduction strategy for Oxfordshire Waste Partnership, including a review of existing action plans and public engagement projects (2009)
  • Research into methods of reducing food waste in schools (WRAP 2010)

Jane has also contributed to the following toolkits and best practice guidance:

  • Communications guidance for local authorities on schools recycling collections (WRAP 2009)
  • Review of best practice for PFI and waste partnerships on communications issues for (WRAP 2009)
  • Best practice guidance on working in Low Participation Areas (WRAP 2007/08)
  • Enabling Community Waste Initiatives Project (guidance on setting up local community waste networks (Defra 2004)
  • Community Waste Action Toolkit (for setting up local action groups working on waste (Defra 2001)
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Sam Reeve

Operations Director

Resource Futures’ Operations Director Sam has over 10 years’ experience in the waste management sector. He is responsible for the consultancy work of the Company, overseeing a variety of service offerings that are vital in understanding and successfully implementing circular-economic business models and practices.

These include:

  • understanding material flows
  • assessing and improving collection systems
  • material compositional data modelling
  • primary data research
  • behaviour change communications, and
  • strategic review of policy and plans
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Eric Bridgwater

Principal Consultant

Significant research work has included:

  • Updating national estimates for municipal waste composition, including secondary category level profiles, assessments of the impacts of various factors (including socio-demographics and collection methodologies) on household waste composition
  • Benchmarking kerbside dry recycling performance nationally, with the development of a regression model of high explanatory power to describe how various factors (socio-demographics, collection methodologies and area types) affect kerbside dry recycling performance
  • Assessment of the WRAP separate food waste collection trials, including identifying factors significant in affecting food waste yields and drawing out best practice lessons to guide local authorities

He has also:

  • Carried out complex mass flow modelling to support Eunomia’s comparative overview for the Welsh Assembly Government of the performance of kerbside dry collection methodologies for the published Kerbside Collections Options: Wales report
  • Developed a standardised approach to assessing the carbon benefits of recycling for various collection scenarios on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Assessed how different collection system methodologies would contribute to the over-arching waste minimisation strategy developed by the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership
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Ralph Openshaw

Principal Consultant

Ralph has experience of research design, as well as data handling and analysis, including the use of statistical tests. He has been responsible for large-scale face-to-face surveys of residents in Greater Manchester, and contributed to research into the usage of WRAP’s Recycle Now brand. He also has experience of campaign monitoring, using attitudinal surveys and participation monitoring, as well as waste analysis, and contributed to the re-write of WRAP’s monitoring and evaluation guidelines. He was responsible for a meta-analysis of the monitoring data and other outcomes from 129 local authority campaigns funded through the £12 million WRAP Behaviour Change Local Fund.

From 2002 to 2006 Ralph managed Cornwall Waste Action, with responsibility for all aspects of general management, as well as projects. He has worked for Resource Futures since 2006.

His other skills include:

  • Development of financial and project management monitoring, recording and reporting systems
  • Making presentations internally, to other organisations, and to the public
  • Development of, and adherence to, policies, as well as ensuring compliance with legislation
  • Reporting to funders, directors, management committees and steering groups
  • Networking, developing contacts, and partnership work with other organisations
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Bernie Thomas

Principal Consultant

He joined Resource Futures from ERM, where he was project manager for the Environment Agency’s WRATE software and WRAP’s Portfolio foot-printing tool for the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. He led the technical development of local authority Waste Prevention and Carbon Tool and contributed to Defra’s Marginal Abatement Costs Curve tool for waste prevention activities, compiling information on likely present levels of re-use and the theoretical potential of waste prevention for different types of waste streams.

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Emma Clarke

Senior Consultant

She specialised in radioactive waste management for five years at Defra and as a consultant before turning to household waste, recycling and re-use. For nearly 10 years, Emma has provided high quality research and consultancy outputs to a range of clients. She is a convivial, experienced and capable consultant able to deliver high quality reports within budget and on time.

Emma is a capable contracts manager responsible for projects such as HWRC, bring site and bulky waste reviews and options appraisals, re-use plans and good practice guidance. Emma’s projects often include both operational and communications elements requiring partnership working with other members of the Resource Futures team. Emma undertakes qualitative and quantitative research to develop baselines upon which she can construct recommendations, strategies and action plans.

  • Reviewing HWRC and bring site networks and Bulky Waste Collections
  • Engaging with the third sector and developing re-use plans
  • Options appraisals
  • Primary data-gathering
  • HWRC and bulky waste good practice
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Billy Harris

Senior Consultant

Billy also has extensive experience in the area of waste compositional analysis, including county-level surveys collecting multiple waste streams across multiple waste collection authorities. He completed a two-year DEFRA project to assess the composition and bio-degradability of municipal solid waste arriving at landfill sites in the UK, which will form the basis of the UK’s revised approach to reporting against Landfill Directive targets. He also delivered waste analysis focusing on the hospitality sector across Cumbria.

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Helen White

Senior Consultant

Helen is an experienced contract manager, who is regularly commissioned to conduct communications reviews, audits and planning processes, recommending a mix of methods and materials to deliver on project outcomes in conjunction with operational activities. She has written good practice guidance, delivered focus groups, workshops and training, and has co-ordinated roadshow events for the public and seminar sessions for the industry. Helen has attended Consultation Institute training courses in Effective Focus Groups and Consultation with Children and Young People as part of her continuous professional development.

An enthusiastic and engaging individual, she is a competent contract and events manager, experienced in developing and delivering communications projects to deadline and to budget.

  • Reviewing/auditing communications
  • Communications planning
  • Communications support
  • Public/community engagement
  • Qualitative research methods - in-depth interviews, focus groups
  • Facilitation and training
  • Good practice guidance (communications)
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Sheila Gundry

Senior Consultant

Sheila has a strong track record in strategic planning, managing and delivering good quality projects, and disseminating best practice through networks, events and educational resources.

  • Management of education contracts to time, cost and quality
  • Delivery of training and workshops
  • Managing resource development, including physical education resources and e-resources
  • Supporting and inspiring young people to take action on the issues that affect them
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Co-ordinating events and other educational activities

Prior to Resource Futures, Sheila was the Education Manager for five years for Envolve Partnerships for Sustainability where she developed and implemented the education strategy and managed both staff and volunteers. She delivered a range of environmental events, conferences, teacher training sessions and developed a teachers’ pack which was sold nationally.

Sheila worked for seven years at Malham Tarn Field Centre, delivering environmental education activities to children of all ages and abilities.


  • BSc Geography, Sheffield University
  • MSc Rural and Regional Resource Planning, Aberdeen University
  • PGCE Geography and Outdoor Activities (secondary), Leeds University
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Simon Kenton

Project Manager

Simon Kenton manages the Community Action Group (CAG) Project in Oxfordshire, a network of over 50 voluntary groups at the forefront of community-led climate change action, organising events and projects to take action on issues including waste, transport, food, energy and biodiversity.

The CAG team offers hands-on, day-to-day help and advice for groups, and supports the Network to grow. Simon is also a Senior Consultant specialising in community work and behaviour change at a national level for the Company.

  • Community capacity building
  • Training, facilitation and mediation
  • Local government community strategies
  • Behaviour change
  • Development of monitoring and evaluation
  • Funding
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Martin Pearse

Project Manager

Martin has previously helped to develop and manage long-term projects including schools education, real nappies, community composting, Community Action Groups and recycling in flats. His areas of expertise include project management, community engagement and establishing community groups ‘from scratch’, as well as advising on development issues.

Prior to Resource Futures, Martin worked as a qualified teacher and a community development officer for two local authorities – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and West Wiltshire - and spent 16 years with the YMCA, developing community projects, including two in sustainable waste management.

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Stuart Woodham


Stuart has over 16 years’ experience gained in a wide range of environmental projects and across an extensive range of economic sectors, working with and for large and small private organisations, NGOs and government. For example, he has worked extensively with hotels to help them reduce their water energy and waste footprints and with regulators to help produce guidance for operators to comply with new environmental legislation as well as auditing company operations and plans against environmental best practice.

His research projects, auditing and practical guidance development have covered the themes of:

  • Resource efficiency
  • Environmental auditing
  • Public environmental policy
  • Environmental legal compliance and liability
  • Carbon foot printing (with a particular emphasis on embodied carbon)
  • Cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness analysis
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Stuart Clouth


He has managed several projects at Resource Futures, most notably an economic and environmental feasibility study into implementing a business model based upon circular economic principles - product re-use and closed-loop recycling - for a UK-based plastics manufacturer. He has a Masters in Sustainability Leadership from The University of Cambridge studying the circular economy for his thesis, focusing on the factors driving UK development of the circular economy for renewable and non-renewable resources.

Consultant Stuart has specific expertise in data and policy analysis, modelling and scenario development, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and web development. He is a competent project manager and has produced many reports and guidance documents, and delivered training, workshops and focus groups for a variety of clients.

  • Data analysis including statistical analysis, mass flow analysis, life cycle assessment
  • Qualitative analysis including interviewing, focus groups, workshops
  • Policy analysis and development
  • Modelling including business model development, scenario development
  • Circular economy
  • Web development (HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, SQL)
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Software: full MS Office including Access, Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS, QGIS, R, SPSS, VBA
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Agnes Chruszcz


She has over five years’ experience in delivering and designing primary data gathering, behaviour change projects and campaign evaluation. She has also managed multiple canvassing and public engagement projects; often supporting service change. She has a sound knowledge of project design, as well as research and evaluation methodologies.

Her interests include food waste, operations and behaviour change, as well as monitoring and evaluation methodologies. Her particular areas of expertise include waste compositional analysis, attitudinal surveys, participation monitoring and data management and analysis. She has also delivered canvassing, roadshows and community engagement projects. She has managed projects for a range of local authorities, WRAP and waste management companies in:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research design
  • Primary data gathering: waste analysis, participation monitoring, attitudinal surveys, tonnage monitoring
  • Data management and analysis
  • Behaviour change: canvassing, roadshows, community engagement
  • Service change support
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Will French


Will has developed strong skills in data collection, analysis and interpretation. His particular areas of interest include the modelling of kerbside collection services and undertaking full options appraisals to identify cost savings and improve overall recycling performance. He is an experienced project manager having overseen numerous primary data gathering and analysis projects. A strong believer in providing bespoke support, he works closely with a range of stakeholders to understand the needs of the client and their organisation to provide meaningful recommendations.

  • Collections modelling and appraisal
  • Economic appraisal
  • Data analysis
  • Primary data gathering
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Behaviour change
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Sally Scholefield


With 13 years’ experience, Sally demonstrates high levels of creativity, has excellent design skills and is a competent copy writer. An enthusiastic and experienced project manager, who develops and delivers communications projects to deadline and to budget. She has worked on communications campaigns for WRAP (including Love Food Hate Waste and Recycle Now), for local authorities, waste management companies, community organisations and schools.

Her areas of specialism are:

  • Communications reviews
  • Communications campaigns and support
  • Design and production of communications materials
  • Public/community engagement projects
  • Facilitation of focus groups
  • Design of communications materials for Recycling and Waste Reduction projects, including:
  • Roadshow Materials, Teaching and Learning Resources as well as Leaflets, Brochures and other printed materials.
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Coralline Guillon

Junior Consultant

Coralline has worked within the waste management industry for the last five years, gaining a wide range of experience of desk-based studies, fieldwork and data analysis. She has industry knowledge, combined with technical and problem-solving skills. Her initiative and adaptability allow her to deliver bespoke work to satisfy the needs of the client. Coralline speaks French and Spanish and is a member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

She is involved in a number of data collection, data analysis and behavioural change projects and environmental management. She has a strong operational background, ample fieldwork experience and has managed a number of canvassing and waste analysis projects. Coralline has also carried out research for Defra on the market potential and demand for textile re-use and for WRAP examining the collection options for non-clothing textiles. Coralline also has experience of contract delivery and monitoring and of the challenges faced by both local authorities and waste management companies in planning and implementing new waste strategies.

  • Desk-based and field research
  • Canvassing, participation monitoring and surveying
  • Waste composition analysis and waste audits
  • Community engagement and service change support
  • ISO 14001 and environmental management
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Our projects

Implementing a circular economic business model for Phineas Products

The clients: Phineas Products, Technology Strategy Board

In 2013 Resource Futures led a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funded study to determine the feasibility of implementing a circular economic business model for Phineas Products Limited. The circular economy, as applied to Phineas Products, involves a system in which products are manufactured in the...

Municipal waste composition review

The client: Defra

Resource Futures was commissioned by Defra to carry out a comprehensive review of municipal waste composition in the UK. The principal objectives of this study were to:

  • collate municipal waste compositional evidence for the UK
  • assess the robustness of the collated data in terms of...