A new body designed to give smaller operators a greater say within Scotland’s vital resource management sector has been launched at the Scottish Resources Conference 2019.
Jointly, hundreds of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Scotland will now have a voice on priority issues and a representation to Government, its various agencies, the commercial sector and the public. Together, they will also have a better chance of dealing with the challenges and identifying opportunities in the years ahead.
The new Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS) has been set up in response to the growing need for representation from the SMEs at a time of significant political, economic and legislative change and uncertainty.
The significant challenges the sector is facing include the EU Exit and the associated impact on exports, imports, storage capacity and shortfalls in labour and skills; the need for clarity in the approach to manage the 2021 BMW landfill ban; and the introduction of the new Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland.
Chairing the new non-political, not-for-profit association is Brian Ritchie of Aviemore-based David Ritchie & Sons Ltd.
Speaking at the launch of the RMAS at the opening day of the Scottish Resource Conference in Perth, Mr Ritchie said the membership organisation would transform the role of the “little guy” within the vast sector.
“If you are a small business, your voice is rarely heard,” he said. “RMAS will allow us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with others and become a voice that can make an impact.
“Scotland needs this organisation now and we will be working hard to ensure our members are well informed and that these priority issues, risks and opportunities are communicated and represented effectively to Government, its various agencies, the commercial sector and the public.
“This new association will also provide a reciprocal arrangement whereby Government and others will be able to directly engage with the resource management sector on important issues.”
As part of the new association, a technical and innovation group has also been established.
This group will have representatives from leading academic institutions, resource sector specialists and innovators, who will help to uncover and develop new technologies, processes and plans to realise commercial opportunities for members.
John Ferguson from EcoideaM Ltd, one of the founding parties, stated: “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises operating across the Resource Management Sector in Scotland are ideally placed to adapt, innovate and positively contribute to help make the Circular Economy Strategy in Scotland a practical reality and to ensure the sector contributes positively to the many global environmental and resource challenges we face.”
The establishment of this new association has been welcomed by CIWM, Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, SEPA and other key stakeholders.