Dr Richard Swannell

Director of Sustainable Food Systems

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Dr Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP, has spent his career working on ways of reducing our impact on the environment. Richard is a microbiologist by training and has a Doctorate in Environmental Engineering. 

His teams focus on delivering a more sustainable, resource efficient and more circular economy in food and drink.  This includes:

  • Closing the loop through increasing the recycling of food and drink waste through Anaerobic Digestion and composting, and by developing markets for recycled packaging particularly plastics.  

He also leads WRAP’s Research and Market Economics teams.

Richard has worked on environmental issues for more than 25 years, covering a broad range of topics. For example he has helped develop biotechnology to treat air pollution and worked on new approaches to cleaning soil and groundwater. His previous roles including leading an international team developing novel ways of treating oil pollution, and heading product development for an environmental consultancy business. Over the last 14 years has helped build successful business partnerships to reduce waste. Richard joined WRAP in 2004 where he led the Retail team that developed the ‘Courtauld Commitment’. He became a Director in 2006.