WRAP appoints new Head of Climate Action Strategy

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has appointed Special Advisor Karen Fisher as the new Head of Climate Action Strategy.

The role will require Fisher to work with WRAP CEO Marcus Gover in order to propel forward national climate action efforts so that the UK’s ‘Net Zero’ ambitions are clearly met. The position will also involve the development of new sustainability interventions that target a range of different supply chains under WRAP’s influence, as well as collaborative work towards achieving climate action on a global scale.

Fisher’s appointment follows a shift in one of WRAP’s central programmes in order to complement the relaunch of the Courtauld Commitment 2030 in June. With a renewed focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and combating ‘water stress’, the amended commitment has subsequently adjusted the responsibilities of the Head of Climate Action Strategy. For example, with the annual GHG emissions attributed to food consumed across the UK now totalling 150 Mt CO2e, equivalent to to around 30 per cent of the country’s territorial GHG emissions, WRAP chose to remodel its programme to include a renewed target for industry that aims to reduce the level of GHGs associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 50 per cent by 2030. Similarly, WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact and Textiles 2030 shares similar ambitions to curtail the release of GHGs into the atmosphere.

Prior to the appointment, Fisher worked in the field of food systems sustainability for around 20 years, eight of which have been with WRAP. Most recently, her work has seen her lead new initiatives with the food and drink sector that focus on measuring and reducing supply chain GHG emissions. She has also been a key part of many of WRAP’s programmes, including Meat in a Net Zero World and the Courtauld Water Ambition.

Fisher conducted the launch of Meat in a Net Zero world in June 2020, convening over 50 stakeholders across the meat production and supply chain in order to do so. The gathered businesses now work collaboratively in an attempt to make the UK meat industry one of the most sustainable in the world. Fisher also spearheaded the Courtauld Water Ambition project, which saw her address water stress in food supply chains. As part of the programme, WRAP will launch a new roadmap towards Water Security for Food and Drink for the UK later this year.

Karen Fisher, Head of Climate Action Strategy, commented: “I am delighted to take on this new challenge. This is a hugely important year not just for the UK but for every country on Earth, and COP26 is only weeks away.

“Humanity has a huge task ahead to combat the worst impacts of climate change and I see this role helping to bring WRAP’s work clearly in line with crucial climate action. I see this as a moment to refresh and refocus our outlook globally and use WRAP’s convening power to maximum effect to help drive change at the forefront of action on climate change.”