ADD2287 Budget for membership to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2287
Date signed: 
05 November 2018
Decision by: 
Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director, Environment

Executive summary

This decision requests budget of £12,500 for annual membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) Cities and Governments programme for 2018/19 and 2019/20. This is half of the cost of membership, with the other half being covered by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB).

The GLA and LWARB have had joint membership of the EMF Cities and Governments programme for three years, starting in 2015. Benefits include:

• Access to 6 monthly acceleration workshops and annual summit – meeting leading thinkers, city and business leaders in this space
• Opportunity to be involved in co-projects identified by EMF members that address circular economy challenges in a pre-competitive space
• Access to CE100 businesses such as Google, Marks and Spencer, Unilever
• Opportunity to participate in EMFs sector wide initiatives e.g. New Plastics Economy including the Global Plastics Protocol, Making Clothing Circular etc
• Access to the emerging innovators network – a group of entrepreneurial circular economy small businesses
• Access the joint approach that C40 and EMF are working on to quantify the link between circular economy, sustainable consumption and carbon reduction
• Involvement in relevant research that focuses on the opportunity, challenges and delivery of a circular economy at a city level

This has played an important role in establishing the evidence base supporting London’s circular economy policy development, helping embed specific policies across the Mayor’s statutory plans.

Decision

The Assistant Director – Environment approves:

Payment to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) of £12,500 (50 per cent of the membership cost) to be part of the EMF’s Cities and Governments programme for 2018/19 and 2019/20. The remaining 50 per cent of the costs will be covered by the London Waste and Recycling Board.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is the leading think tank on the acceleration of a circular economy. The GLA and LWARB have been members of EMF’s Cities and Government’s programme for 3 years (MD2137 approved £12,500 as grant funding and this request asks to approve budget for a further two years). The cost of membership has been reduced from £35,000 per year (split between GLA and LWARB) to £25,000 a year.

Benefits of membership:

• Access to 6 monthly acceleration workshops and annual summit – meeting leading thinkers, city and business leaders in this space
• Opportunity to be involved in co-projects identified by EMF members that address circular economy challenges in a pre-competitive space
• Access to CE100 businesses such as Google, Marks and Spencer, Unilever
• Opportunity to participate in EMFs sector wide initiatives e.g. New Plastics Economy including the Global Plastics Protocol, Making Clothing Circular etc
• Access to the emerging innovators network – a group of entrepreneurial circular economy small businesses
• Access the joint approach that C40 and EMF are working on to quantify the link between circular economy, sustainable consumption and carbon reduction
• Involvement in relevant research that focuses on the opportunity, challenges and delivery of a circular economy at a city level.

Cities are increasingly seen as the engines of a circular economy and as such the Foundation is investing energy and resources in this area. London’s membership to the EMF has played an important role in establishing the evidence base supporting London’s circular economy policy development, having embedded specific policies across the Mayor’s statutory plans including the London Environment Strategy (Policy 7.1 and 11.1), draft London Plan (Policy D1 and SI7) and the GLA Group Responsible Procurement Policy (Environmental Sustainability).

Objectives and expected outcomes

• To help meet proposal 7.1.1.c in the London Environment Strategy which states that “The Mayor will work with LWARB, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and other partners to implement LWARB’s Circular Economy Route Map and develop a circular business programme to increase reuse of materials.”
• To ensure that London has access to the most up to date thinking and business examples and contacts on circular economy. Continued EMF membership is considered necessary to support effective implementation of the Mayor’s circular economy policies and programmes designed to reduce waste.
• To allow London to continue being promoted as a global leader in the move towards circular economy

Equality comments

The GLA is subject to an obligation under the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010 to have due regard to any equality implications which arise out of this decision to spend GLA funds, including the impact on those sharing protected characteristics under that Act. Transition to the circular economy is expected to bring significant economic, environmental and social benefits through keeping materials and products at their highest use for as long as possible, which will reduce waste and pollution, and reduce reliance on virgin materials and fossil fuels. A full integrated impact assessment has been undertaken of the Mayor statutory plans setting out circular economy policies and programmes including the London Environment Strategy, draft London Plan and Economic Development Strategy. Membership to the EMF will enable London to learn from the EMF network to inform how transition to the circular economy can deliver social value and wider equality benefits.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

The EMF is considered the global lead in helping city governments and corporates to accelerate to a circular economy. They have developed a bank of literature underpinning the rationale and evidence base supporting circular economy policies in the Mayor’s London Environment Strategy, draft London Plan, Economic Development Strategy and GLA Group Responsible Procurement Policy. The GLA and LWARB have also benefited from access to the CE100 global network for sharing best practice between city governments and helped the GLA and LWARB to develop funding programmes (for example Advance London) supporting small businesses to scale up and adopt CE business models. Not renewing membership to the EMF would cut off access to the wealth of CE knowledge and understanding from this global network. This would present a risk to the GLA not being able to effectively implement his CE policies and programmes based on best and current practice, and maintaining its position as a leading city in CE transition.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

Moving to a low carbon circular economy is one of the strategic priorities within the Mayor’s Environment Strategy. Membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will assist in the delivery of the Mayor’s circular economy policies and programmes set out in the Strategy and in the Mayor’s other strategic plans as set out in Section 1 and 2.

c) consultations and impact assessments

A full public consultation and integrated impact assessment has been undertaken in developing both the London Environment Strategy and draft London Plan. No further consultation is considered to be required before the decision to renew the GLA’s EMF membership is made.

Financial comments

Assistant Director’s approval is sought for expenditure of £12,500 as membership fees to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Cities and Governments programme for 2018/19 and 2019/20. London Waste and Recycling Board will contribute 50 per cent of the membership costs. Environment’s 2018-19 Waste programme budget will fund this.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Agree work plan including core objectives from membership to the EMF

November 2018

Sign EMF membership contract

November 2018