The Business Concept Q3 2023

Q3 2023

Editor’s letter. Welcome to the Q3 issue of The Business Concept. The Business Concept is dedicated to providing you with the latest, most intricate visions from across the business landscape. Globally, there is an endless amount of support for business development – and The Business Concept is here to showcase the solutions and assistance being provided around the world. A running theme for the businesses that we delight in featuring in our magazine is their complete dedication to delivering the most optimal customer experience. In this issue, we take a look at different organisations that each play their own part in the customer journey, from market research, to building brand awareness and reputation, from offering highquality products and one-stop shop services, to maintaining a top-notch offering by investing in cutting-edge technology and equipment. Not only is gaining customers in the first place crucial, but also ensuring you can retain them by keeping them satisfied. It is highly important to ensure that your customers are provided with only the very best through constant review and improvement of processes. Could training help your team perform to the best of their ability? Would an upgrade of your technology make your processes more efficient? Could a brand or marketing revamp attract more customers? It’s interesting to take a look at the solutions that are out there and whether they will enhance your unique business. I hope you find the content of this issue to be insightful and wish you a wonderful quarter ahead! In the meantime, I look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our Q4 issue. Rebecca Scotland - Editor

Contents 4. News - AI-Driven Account-Based Marketing is Transforming B2B Demand Generation - Spider PR Secures Aurum Solutions to Join Its Corporate/B2B Portfolio as The Business Gears Up for Ambitious Growth Plans 6. Elex Products Ltd: Best Industrial & Domestic Cleaning Product Manufacturer 2023 - Kenya 7. WDS Components Ltd: Best European Standard Parts & Machine Accessories Manufacturer & Supplier 2023 - UK 8. Interest rates rise making businesses more cautious about hiring, BDO report says 10. Quantum Electrical Distribution supercharges growth with £2m facility from Cynergy Business Finance 12. Industry Leaders roadmap the future of Change Management for business growth at the CHANGE Talks 13. Squirrly Company Spearheads AI Reskilling Revolution to Help People Get Over Fear of Losing Their Jobs to AI 14. Recycling alone won’t solve the plastic pollution crisis, says ISB Global

News. 4 AI-Driven Account-Based Marketing is Transforming B2B Demand Generation In today’s fast-paced marketing landscape, AI technologies have become indispensable, reshaping the way businesses approach sales and marketing. Among these innovations, AI-driven Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is emerging as a game-changer. AI tools offer businesses the capability to conduct thorough prospect research on decision-makers within a client’s specific target accounts. “This allows us to create targeted advertising campaigns based on extensive data points gathered across the Internet on a client’s key accounts. Combining qualitative research data with various digital identifiers, we can create hyper personalized campaigns with greater conversion success.” explains Dean Shapero CEO of FlyTech, a leading ABM marketing firm. What truly stands out is the remarkable speed and precision with which AI performs this intricate analysis. Not too long ago, the complexity of such tasks would have been overwhelming. However, thanks to AI’s rapid analytical capabilities, identifying engaged prospects in ABM campaigns has become more refined. Amidst this transformative wave, FlyTech is leveraging AI-driven ABM for their clients to not only identify prospects but also predict their needs, paving the way for proactive, data-driven marketing strategies that are rewriting the rules of B2B engagement and industry growth. As the integration of AI and marketing continues to evolve, the rise of AI-driven ABM holds the potential to redefine targeted strategies and customer engagement. With AI’s ability to swiftly process extensive datasets and generate valuable insights, marketers are well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of account-based marketing with enhanced precision. The synergy between AI tools and accountbased marketing underscores the potential of human ingenuity, now amplified by technology. As AI solidifies its role as an indispensable ally, sales and marketing teams can anticipate a future where creativity, efficiency, and engagement seamlessly converge, contributing to new levels of demand generation growth. In this dynamic landscape, FlyTech remains at the forefront, exemplifying the boundless opportunities for companies leveraging AI to drive unprecedented growth.

5 News. The corporate & B2B team at Spider PR has been selected by Aurum Solutions to build brand awareness and cement its position as the authoritative voice of reconciliation. Aurum Solutions, global next-generation reconciliation software specialist, has appointed Spider PR to develop and deliver a holistic communications strategy to enhance brand awareness and reputation across the industry, positioning the business and team as leading experts in reconciliation. Founded in 2004, for nearly two decades Aurum Solutions (formerly Groupit) has worked with leading organisations across financial services, fintech, insurance, legal, gaming and more, in both the UK and globally. Aurum’s mission is simple: empower CFOs and their teams through management of financial data. Spider’s corporate and B2B team will work hand-in-hand with Aurum to raise awareness of how automated and integrated solutions will benefit financial professionals, allowing them to focus on people, strategy and service. Spider’s strategy will put the expertise, knowledge, and innovative mindset at Aurum at its core, utilising key platforms and creating opportunities for the team to share valuable insight, news and successes. Case studies will provide firsthand proof of Aurum Solutions’ positive business impact, while award entries will further cement the team’s position as leaders and innovators. Aurum and Spider hit the ground running with the unveiling of a complete brand transformation as the next step in the evolution of their journey. The strategic initiative reflects Aurum’s commitment to continuous innovation and a refreshed brand identity that best resonates with the changing and evolving company. Speaking about the win, Chloe Walden, Associate Director of the Corporate & Spider PR Secures Aurum Solutions to Join Its Corporate/B2B Portfolio as The Business Gears Up for Ambitious Growth Plans B2B PR team, comments: “We have joined forces with Aurum Solutions at a really exciting time for the team and the business as a whole, as it enters the next phase of its evolution and looks to the future. Aurum Solutions is uniquely positioned and combines industry experience and expertise, having worked with hundreds of recognisable household businesses, with a modern, innovative and ambitious outlook – a rare combination. “Technology is becoming increasingly intertwined with daily business operations. If we can find and embrace solutions – such as those provided by Aurum – which allow us to work smarter, streamline operations upskill teams, it will improve everything from how efficiently businesses are run to end customer service. We have no doubt Aurum will be a must-have tool in the business armoury.”

Best Industrial & Domestic Cleaning Product Manufacturer 2023 - Kenya Elex Products Ltd boasts a strong client base in the East Africa region, with major distributors based in Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar, Burundi, and Rwanda. It offers a diversified range of high-quality products to help serve its millions of customers based both locally in Kenya, and further afield. Elex Products is well known as the manufacturer of Cerrazo Tile Cleaner, the leading terrazzo stain removing solution on the market. It has also expanded to offer a range of products focused on laundry and pool maintenance. Elex has a company mission, which is concentrated on the delivery of clear systems and procedures that optimise the use of environmentally friendly products. It also aims to exceed the expectations of customers and stakeholders through its continuous innovation, and its desire for improvement and overall fairness when it comes to achieving its goals. It is dedicated to supplying products that are always of the very highest quality, with a vision to be the preferred source for sanitation and healthcare in its region. To do this it has an aim to produce affordable but top-quality products for the use and advancement of all levels in society. The value system that operates at Elex is based on a handy acronym, using the letters in the word RESPECT. For Elex, R stands for Respect and Responsible. E stands for Excellence and Exceptional. S is for Specialize. P for Persistence and hard work. The C stands for its Customer focus, and its Creativity. Finally, the T stands for Teamwork. These are all vitally important values the company brings to every aspect of the work it does. Following on from this, the company also identifies a fourth pillar, alongside its mission, vision and values. This is its existence, whereby Elex has an aim to become the market leader in its niche. To this end it has set up a reliable and efficient distribution system ensuring it is capable of meeting or indeed exceeding all customer requirements. The brands Elex supplies include names such as Taco, Elesept, Elesol, Ezin, Lix, Sepit, and of course its market leading Cerrazo. These products encompass alcohol-based sanitizers and antiseptics for protecting hands from germs without using water. This is something particularly useful in occupational areas such as schools, hospitals, and public offices, and is available in both gel and liquid forms. It also covers disinfectants, multiclean detergents, chlorine bleach, toilet cleaner, air freshener, degreaser, and drain cleaner products. The directors at Elex Product Ltd are Mr. Gabriel Muli and Mrs. Ruth Muindi. Gabriel, the founder and managing director of Elex Products, is a certified accountant who has worked in several senior positions within multinational corporations over the previous 20 years, before taking the plunge to start his current entrepreneurial venture. He was able to identify a gap in the hygiene/sanitation market that required detergent manufacture, which is what led him to establish Elex Products Ltd began operating in 2002 as a manufacturer and distributor of cleaning and sanitation items intended for use in both the industrial and domestic arena. It has grown to become the first choice for cleaning services within hospitality, medical, educational, construction, and industrial institutions for over 20 years. Elex Products Ltd in 2002. Gabriel is a charismatic leader and mentor, whose contribution to society cannot be underestimated. He strongly believes in mentoring young people to help them excel and become leaders in economic spaces that are different to the norm. Co-founder and Customer Relations Director Ruth began her career as a teacher, with some 17 years of experience gained before she transitioned to the corporate world. She gained a degree in Leadership and Management from Strathmore University before joining Elex, where she has spearheaded many major company innovations. She introduced a functional call centre, allowing Elex the opportunity to respond to customer enquiries in real-time. Ruth’s passion for empowering women is unmatched, and she campaigns hard for more women to take their place in the leadership realm with her dedicated mentoring work. Elex Product Ltd has now been named as the Best Industrial & Domestic Cleaning Product Manufacturer 2023 – Kenya. This prestigious award is a well-deserved accolade for a company that is making such a huge difference in the cleaning product market, not only with its terrific products but also with its fantastic mental attitude. Company: Elex Products Ltd Web Address: Contact Name: Rosemarie Ndunge Jan23094

76. Best European Standard Parts & Machine Accessories Manufacturer & Supplier 2023 - UK With a long history, WDS Components Ltd (WDS) prides itself on over 70 years in the manufacture and supply of essential everyday components. We find out more from Mark Moody as it gains recognition in the Industrial Production and Manufacturing Awards 2023. “Combined with great value it means we have what the customer wants when they want it, and at a great price,” enthuses Mark. “Whether our customer needs thousands or just one we have it on the shelf when they need it. If we don’t have it, we would love to hear from our customers so that we can adjust our stocks to accommodate their requirements.” WDS constantly evaluates the scheme to ensure that it is listening to its customer’s demands and requirements. By fully engaging with, and understanding customer requirements, the company is able to adjust its stocks quickly and effectively. Customers are at the heart of everything WDS does and everything it supplies and, from speaking to Mark, this is clear from the offset. The firm’s core focus principles have been developed and introduced following the difficult business trading period directly after the Covid-19 pandemic, and they take into account the latest issues faced globally, including supply chain issues, Brexit, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the cost-of-living crisis, all of which have played a significant part in complicating normal business. To counteract these challenges, WDS strives to ensure that all of its colleagues embrace its strong customer-centric values. “In order to meet our customers’ expectations, we have a ‘right first time’ approach,” Mark states. “We achieve this by engaging with them clearly and accurately at every opportunity, with skilled and knowledgeable colleagues.” The WDS website is also designed to provide as much information as possible, with a simple user and purchase experience for customers, with trade account holders being able to login online and see their orders, check their order status, account information, and manage their own teams and web order authorities. “We aim to deliver quality at every stage of our customer journey, from initial contact with the website or the sales team, right through to our invoices being correct and the goods arriving at the right time and place.” To this end, WDS was recently celebrated for its dedication and commitment to its loyal customer base and rewarded with the title of Best European Standard Parts & Machine Accessories Manufacturer & Supplier 2023 – UK. Regarding the future, WDS Components Ltd has big plans for further growth and aims to become the UK’s market leading outlet for components, standard parts, and machine accessories, as well as to be recognised online as a global leader in the marketplace, by both customers and other suppliers. Following recent investment in machines, website development, and warehouse software, it seems that the next few years are looking very rosy indeed! Contact Details Contact: Mark Moody Company: WDS Components Ltd Web Address: Established in 1952 under the name Woodside Die Sinking Co. Ltd, WDS Components is a leading European manufacturer and global supplier of standard parts, machine accessories, and work holding components. The firm caters to many sectors, including, but not limited to, aerospace, automation, chandler and marine enclosures, food and beverage, health and fitness, logistics, energy and power, pharmaceutical and medical, entertainment, sports, and DIY. In fact, WDS’s customer base includes some of the world’s most famous engineering companies and its components can be found in planes, trains, boats, automobiles, workshops, and everything else. The WDS range of products is characterised by high quality, superior performance, unrivalled choice, and excellent value for money. The firm is innovative and regularly reviews the market, evaluates its product offering, and enhances its range to meet current and future customer requirements. Whilst the firm has changed ownership several times over the decades, it remains privately owned. Employing almost 50 people in many roles, the company occupies one head office unit in Pudsey, Leeds, which is also home to its manufacturing and warehouse facility. “We provide a one-stop shop and single point of contact for all our customers, no matter where they are based in the world,” explains Sales and Marketing Director, Mark Moody. “Our sales team are friendly and always available to discuss our customers’ needs.” The company has moved with the times in the 71 years since its initial inception, and it now regularly engages and communicates with customers via social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, as well as utilising video calls, email, webchat, and other digital platforms. “Technology has made the business more digital, with growing numbers of customers now trading digitally,” Mark elaborates. “We’ve also gone from line drawings to us being leaders in CAD and its use in the market. In fact, WDS was one of the early users of CAD and CAD tech. Machines, technology, and automation have made us more efficient over the years.” The current market, whilst relatively buoyant, is not without its challenges and Mark tells us that the main issues are around availability. To this end, WDS has introduced a stock guarantee that continues to grow to give confidence in supply to its customers. Stocking more than three million items, with 50,000 sku codes, the number of products in the guarantee keeps on growing. May23211

Interest rates rise making businesses more cautious about hiring, BDO report says The UK labour market is beginning to slow down as rising interest rates take their toll on hiring activity, according to new data out today from BDO. According to the latest data from the accountancy firm, demand for workers slowed for the second consecutive month in August bringing BDO’s employment index down by 0.81 points to 110.92. The previous monthly dip in hiring intentions in July was the first fall in six months, suggesting that higher rates are finally starting to cool the labour market. “Businesses are reacting to the higher interest rate environment with conservative decisions about hiring,” Kaley Crossthwaite, partner at BDO, said. The survey comes ahead of official labour market figures for July, set to be published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday, as the Bank of England considers whether to hike interest rates again. Data has suggested that in June, annual pay growth excluding bonuses hit 7.8 per cent, the highest level since records began in 2001. There was also a rise in the unemployment rate, which climbed to 4.2 per cent from 3.9 per cent. July’s pay growth figures are expected to show average earnings increased at around 7.6 per cent, slower than last month but still worryingly fast. The unemployment rate meanwhile is tipped to rise to 4.3 per cent. Data out last week from KPMG and the REC revealed reduced recruitment activity, with the fastest fall in permanent placements in over three years. However, the survey showed that pay pressures remained elevated, with starting salaries continuing to rise in August. Derek Mackenzie, CEO, Investigo said: “With businesses grappling to stay ahead of the curve around AI and cyber trends, having a dedicated talent pipeline in place should be a top priority for ambitious organisations who are seeking growth. A cooling of the labour market should not mean turning a blind eye to the urgent need to build a highly skilled workforce, and organisations who fail to properly prepare for the future will face challenges as the economy accelerates.” Nov22262

9 Arggo introduces game-changing digitalisation tool to UK market

Electrical Wholesaler and Distributor, Quantum Electrical Distribution, has secured a £2m Invoice Discounting facility from Cynergy Business Finance (CBF) to support its regional growth plans. Founded in 2018 in Crawley, West Sussex, Quantum was created to offer a unique, customer-centric approach to Electrical Wholesaling. The business specialises in Aviation, Renewable energy, Industrial, Commercial, Residential and Telecommunication sectors. Given the business’s focus on Renewable energy, a commitment to sustainability not only feeds into Quantum’s work with clients, but also its own operations. The business also aims to plant a tree for every order placed, and to-date has planted over 40,000 trees worldwide. Quantum is also transitioning its entire fleet to electric-power, and is set to be a fully-paperless operation by the end of the year. A commitment to the development of its people, as well as the wider community, also drives Quantum’s growth strategy. Having grown its team to 26 people, its Academy is a central pillar of its recruitment process. The Academy aims to train people new to the industry, whilst also providing opportunities to homeless people. Since 2018, three people have successfully completed the programme. Having grown the annual turnover of the business to in excess of £10m over their initial five years of trading, Quantum required a new funding partner that could provide the crucial working capital needed to continue delivering on its growth plans. Introduced by Turpin Barker Armstrong Accountants and Business Advisors, CBF were able to swiftly provide a flexible Invoice Discounting facility that could grow and adapt with the business. With plans to double the firm’s turnover to £20m within the next five years, Quantum is looking to develop more branches across the South of England, having consolidated its flagship Crawley site. The business is also currently developing a new e-commerce site to diversify its sales channels. We set Quantum up to offer an alternative within the Electrical Distribution Industry. In just five years we’ve already made substantial progress in creating a market-leading service offering. Our mission to ensure sustainability runs through all our operations has also allowed us to create a meaningful, forwardthinking business.” - Tony Jenner, Managing Director at Quantum Electrical Distribution “Having previously worked with high street banks, CBF’s personable approach was a breath of fresh air. Given our need for flexibility and ongoing support to ensure we meet our growth targets, Maxine and the team were able to truly understand our business and build a flexible funding solution that aligned with this. I look forward to continuing this work over the coming years as Quantum continues to grow.” Maxine Hennessy, Corporate Sales Director at Cynergy Business Finance, said: “What Tony and the team have been able to achieve in the last five years is remarkable. By providing such forward-thinking services, and with a true passion for incorporating sustainable practices, the team has been able to create a market-leading proposition. We’ve been able to build a strong, honest relationship that will ultimately allow us to continue this great work together and allow Quantum to continue growing at pace.” David Rutter, Corporate Finance Manager at Turpin Barker Armstrong Accountants and Business Advisors, added: “The last five years have been filled with exceptional growth and meaningful action for Quantum, from its Academy programme to its sustainability efforts. Having outgrown its previous lender, it needed a funder that could support its next stage of growth and, ultimately, grow with the business. CBF were able to provide this, taking the time to fully understand Quantum and its growth strategy. With this new facility in place, I look forward to seeing Quantum move from strength to strength.” Quantum Electrical Distribution supercharges growth with £2m facility from Cynergy Business Finance


Industry Leaders roadmap the future of Change Management for business growth at the CHANGE Talks Industry leaders from Change Awards and The IN Group road mapped the future of change management and how it can revolutionise business growth at the CHANGE Talks this week. The event revolved around demystifying change management, setting out clear steps for business leaders to overhaul their approach to projects and boost the overall efficiency of their organisation. As part of the CHANGE Talks event, Karen Gregson, Head of Business Change Management and Improvement at BAE Systems, hosted a panel with winners of the CHANGE Awards unpacking their success stories and providing a shining example within industry. Jooli Atkins, Change Management Lead for PIRM at NHS England; Rachel Butler, Head of Change at Anglian Water Services; and Beth Rylatt, Head of Business Change at BAE Systems Air joined Gregson on the panel to showcase how they’re implementing change within their organisations. Rachael Hays, Transformation Director at Definia, commented: “Change management often goes unspoken and projects are often walked away from before they’ve really begun. The IN Group is taking an active role in increasing the recognition of change management as an important part of businesses and our Jan22376 sponsorship of the CHANGE events aims to help people break through the misconceptions.” “When people think of transformation within a business, technology is often the first thought, but transformation also encompasses the culture of an organisation and its people, implementing new ways of working, new ways of project management, and new ways of innovating. The CHANGE Talks are providing an excellent way of putting change management, within transformation, on the map.” The event was the second in a three-part series, with the next CHANGE Talks set to happen in October ahead of the next awards event in April 2024. Margo Waldorf, Founder of Change Awards, commented: “We need to put change management on the transformation and innovation map permanently. It is vital in today’s fast-paced business environment where companies, government organisations and others must regularly adapt to new market conditions to stay afloat. We know that change management reduces employee resistance and increases buyin, and I want it to become more than just an afterthought. The Change Awards are a milestone achievement for the change management community, and I think the CHANGE talks are its mouthpiece. I encourage all leaders, and especially ‘change sceptics’ to listen in.”

Squirrly Company Spearheads AI Reskilling Revolution to Help People Get Over Fear of Losing Their Jobs to AI No longer relegated to the plotlines of science fiction, Artificial Intelligence is now a potent force disrupting the workforce. As businesses increasingly integrate AI into their operations, employees worldwide are plagued by fears of obsolescence. “Will I get replaced by an AI? Or worse, by someone who knows how to use AI?” The questions are as unsettling as they are ubiquitous. Taking the lead to quell these fears, Squirrly Company— an innovative frontrunner in the AI sector—has just announced its most audacious initiative yet: 10 New AI Courses Inside Education Cloud PLUS. Committed to reskilling professionals in the AI field, the platform aims to roll out a suite of 10 specialized online courses by the end of this year. Coming on the heels of Squirrly Company’s groundbreaking release of the world’s first batch of AI Digital Assistants for Marketing and business applications, the Education Cloud PLUS courses underscore the firm’s ambition to push forward its AI agenda. “We’re not just addressing fears; we’re offering solutions,” says Florin Muresan, CEO of Squirrly Company. “These aren’t just any courses. They’re geared to help people become so adept at leveraging AI technologies that employers will see them as irreplaceable assets rather than liabilities.” In short: Squirrly Company aims to turn the tables. Instead of professionals fearing being replaced by AI, the goal is to make them the ones who know how to harness AI to serve their companies better—proving their worth in the landscape of future work. The Future of Work is Now We’re not talking about training for jobs that will be relevant in a decade; we’re talking about equipping professionals for roles that are already in demand. “Our agenda is far-reaching, yes. But it’s also immediate,” Muresan elaborates. “The biggest shift of the century isn’t looming; it’s already here. And we’re committed to preparing our students for this new reality.” Each new course in the Education Cloud PLUS portfolio (already 40 courses strong) will tackle crucial areas of using generative AI. These are actionable skills that professionals can apply in their roles—right now. Unlocking Potential, Unveiling Possibilities The course content is designed to be accessible, irrespective of an individual’s level of expertise in AI. You don’t have to be a techie or a coder to learn how to leverage AI tools. All you need is a willingness to embrace the future, and Squirrly Company provides the keys to unlock it. “You don’t need to be a victim of the future; you can be its architect,” says Muresan. “Our students won’t just survive the wave of AI. They’ll ride it.” Jan22194

Recycling alone won’t solve the plastic pollution crisis, says ISB Global Recycling is not enough by itself to solve the global plastic pollution crisis and governments, business and consumers themselves must change how they use and dispose of plastic, according to Chris Williams, founder and CEO of ISB Global, the UK-based software and solutions provider for the global waste management and recycling sector. In a blog post, Williams responds to a recent report by Greenpeace warning that recycling alone is not the sole solution to the plastic pollution crisis. The report emphasises the urgent need for alternative approaches to tackle the problem. “Recycling plays a vital role in waste management, but it’s nowhere near enough to solve the current global problem with plastic pollution,” said Williams. “We need to improve current recycling efforts, but also reduce our production and consumption of singleuse plastic: and encourage far greater plastic reuse as well.” The Greenpeace report published in late May on the eve of a UN global plastic pollution summit in Paris attended by more than 170 countries. The summit aimed to agree a legally binding global treaty on plastic production and disposal. But it ended without agreement on a range of important details. With the international community deadlocked, Williams points to three practical steps to curtail plastic pollution: • Acknowledge the limitations of recycling: Recycling has long been championed as the primary solution to plastic pollution, but it has its limits. Recycling processes can inadvertently increase the toxicity of plastic, which poses risks to both the environment and human health. New microplastic filtration systems are already being developed that remove microplastics from wastewater treatment plants and prevent them from entering waterways and ecosystems. The waste industry now needs to devise improved recycling methods that prioritise the elimination of harmful substances and produce safer materials as well. • Reuse more plastic: Reusing plastic products extends their life cycle and significantly reduces the demand for new plastic. Durable, reusable and environmentally friendly products such as Yeti Bottles and Ocean Bottles reduce plastic waste and minimise the environmental impact. Many countries and local authorities have already implemented plastic bottle deposit schemes and also promote the use of refillable containers. These initiatives reduce the number of discarded single-use plastic items by incentivising consumers to reuse bottles and containers instead. • Reduce single-use plastic: It sounds obvious but tackling plastic pollution has to involve reducing the production and consumption of single-use plastic. Items like food wrappers, Reducing single-use plastic, extending product lifecycles and moving to circular supply networks will reduce plastic waste and boost sustainability drink bottles, and plastic bags are major contributors to the problem. Food manufacturers and retailers need to step up their efforts to replace single-use items with innovative alternative packaging solutions made of biodegradable or compostable materials. The food industry is making significant advances on this issue. At the end of May, Mars announced a UK trial of recyclable paper wrappers for its eponymous chocolate bar. Although challenges remain, progress in the area is promising. Williams also underlines the long-term importance of establishing circular supply networks to replace current processes of production and consumption. “Implementing sustainable circular supply networks – that is, closed-loop

systems where all resources are continuously reused and recycled – reduces waste and minimises the demand for new raw materials as well. This in turn mitigates the environmental impact of plastic production,” he explained. “The circular supply network is a paradigm shift in how we manage all waste and resources, not just plastic. By implementing changes in manufacturing and materials used, waste transforms from being a problem to a valuable resource that can be reintroduced into the production cycle. Adopting a circular approach is a longterm solution to properly address the challenges posed by plastic pollution and other waste.” Williams continued, “The Greenpeace report is a sobering reminder of the limitations of recycling as a solution to the plastic waste problem. With efforts on a shared international plan to end plastic pollution currently stalled, the responsibility falls to governments at a national and local level, together with business and the waste management industry, and consumers themselves.” “What’s essential is to improve existing recycling processes and to also expand our focus beyond recycling. This means educating and encouraging consumers to reduce their single-use plastic consumption and increase their use of reusable products, and to push business and industry to adopt biodegradable plastic alternatives. It also means rethinking existing manufacturing processes so that waste materials are no longer a problem but a resource. Together, these strategies can address the current crisis and pave the way towards a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future.”