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Q&A with CAP member: James Lyddon

Jul 12, 2021

Briefly describe your background, interests & areas of expertise?

A management consultant by background, specialising in raw materials and renewables, I manage the key strategy & innovation projects at Veolia. I am interested in finding effective solutions to complex problems in material circularity, by leveraging Veolia’s expertise in waste management and material valorisation.

 

What does circularity in the textiles industry mean to you?

For me, circularity in the textiles industry means a much-needed and much-awaited emergence of a sustainable solution to a long-standing problem. The transformation of a highly energy intensive and highly polluting sector into an efficient, closed-loop system which maximizes resource & material utilisation and minimizes negative externalities to the environment.

 

What does your company/organisation do to bring about circularity (core relevant activities/commitments, highlight short and long term goals, if relevant).

Veolia provides a comprehensive range of expertise and solutions to continually give a new lease of life to water, materials and energy to meet growing demands, by recovering the heat from waste water networks data centres and industrial processes, by remediating soil, by recovering the heat from materials from wastewater treatment sludge and industrial & municipal effluent, by dismantling a wide range of equipment to resupply manufacturers with metal, plastic, glass and paper, by turning organic waste into a source of renewable energy, Veolia is protecting and creating jobs, while offering alternative solutions worldwide to reduce the drain on primary raw materials

 

What made your decision to join the CAP?

I decided to join the CAP as I see it as an effective forum to address the many challenges facing textile circularity, as well as to put many strong minds from different backgrounds together to reach consensus on a productive growth path for Worn Again. I see the CAP as an opportunity to provide expertise and gather different viewpoints on a highly complex problem.

 

How important is this Circular Advisory Panel approach for preparing a company like WA for the market (i.e. a business starting out with the sole purpose of enabling circularity but entering the market in ‘linear times’)? What do you think it will bring to the company?

I think the CAP can be most useful in providing WA with guidance on its development and clarity on overcoming key challenges, to feed its strategic development plan.

 

What do you believe the biggest hurdles/opportunities for transitioning to a new circular business mindset will be, for WA, for the industry?

Reaching a level of subsidy for waste to be transformed, recycled or reused in an economically viable way. For WA, finding a cost-efficient process to valorise textile waste and a scalable technology.

 

Name 3 things you think businesses will be doing differently in a circular future.

  1. seeing waste as a valuable commodity: transforming, recycling or reusing every kg of waste generated from a business activity
  2. adopting systems to systematically turn waste into energy in a closed loop
  3. educating consumers more proactively on how to value waste, coupled with more widespread extended producer responsibility systems

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