Dr Richard Swannell, Development Director at WRAP, has spent his career working on ways of reducing our impact on the
environment. Richard’s first degree was in Biochemistry and he has a Doctorate in Environmental Engineering.
During his career at WRAP, his teams have focused on delivering a more sustainable, resource efficient and more circular economy, particularly in food and drink. This includes:
- Improving the environmental performance of food and drink products through for example the Product Sustainability Forum and more recently Courtauld 2025.
- Reducing waste across the supply chain and in the home through initiatives like the Courtauld Commitment, the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement and Love Food Hate Waste
- Closing the loop through increasing the recycling of food and drink waste through Anaerobic Digestion and composting.
Richard has worked on environmental issues for more than 25 years, covering a broad range of topics from resource efficiency to sustainability. For example he has developed biotechnology solutions to treat air pollution and investigated novel approaches to cleaning soil and groundwater. His previous roles include leading an international team developing novel ways of treating oil pollution, heading product development for an environmental consultancy business and Deputy Director of Envirowise, driving resource efficiency in business. More recently, he has led teams that build successful business partnerships that reduce waste, particularly food and packaging, recycle more and deliver more sustainable supply chains. Richard joined WRAP in 2004 and became a Director in 2006.
As Development Director, Richard leads on developing and delivering WRAP’s international and new product development strategies. This includes WRAP’s new work on helping people eat more healthily and sustainably and on seeking new partnerships to achieve impact internationally. A particular focus is on delivering the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals e.g. 12.3 on halving food waste reduction. Richard also leads WRAP’s Research, Evaluation and Economics teams.