Strategy development and policy advice

Strategy development and policy advice

Developing a robust waste and resource management strategy

A robust waste strategy is essential to achieve goals such as reducing waste, increasing recycling, updating waste infrastructure and decarbonising, all while meeting the needs of stakeholders and factoring in resilience to future demands. Ricardo can help you to develop a strategy to address all this and more.

Strategy development process


Ricardo’s waste strategy development process addresses three questions:

  1. Where are you now? – Understanding your current situation in terms of stakeholders, infrastructure and assets, the current operations and material flows.
  2. Where do you want to be? – Helping you to align your goals, set a clear vision and understand the level of ambition (and associated effort required) to achieve that.
  3. How are you going to get there? –Helping you to understand and assess possible solutions to determine the best approach for your needs then defining a clear development framework.

Once we have collected data, understood your operating parameters and key drivers, our experts can analyse options using proven frameworks to produce a robust waste strategy and effectively communicate this to stakeholders, driving measurable positive change in your waste operations.

Support from an experienced team of waste consultants

Our waste and resources team has significant experience supporting both our public and private sector clients address each of these questions through delivery of:

  • Stakeholder engagement plans and stakeholder mapping
  • Situational analysis and using proven tools to understand the current operating context
  • Vision definition workshops and materiality assessments
  • Waste flow mapping, forecasting, and options modelling
  • Options appraisal assessments, collection, and treatment system reviews
  • Benchmarking
  • Developing strategic evaluation frameworks, completing Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA)
  • Support with governance frameworks
  • Action planning
  • Data strategies, monitoring and evaluation frameworks

A live waste strategy

Your strategy should be a live document that is regularly referred to and updated.  At Ricardo, we often present a strategy document in three parts:

  1. Headline strategy – a document highlighting the current position, vision and goals, the options considered and the solution being taken forward. It also sets out the strategic framework of how this will be delivered.
  2. Action plan – a roadmap with defined milestones setting out clear governance and success measures to monitor progress.
  3. Appendices – supporting information to understand the strategy and plan.

Evolution of waste strategy development

Waste strategies have evolved from managing risk and impact to identifying and capitalising on opportunity. The primary focus now being on alternative societal models to avoid waste being generated. Your waste strategy now has other wider emerging topics to contend with, equally as relevant and pressing with a greater focus on externalities and associated direct and indirect costs.

Decarbonisation of the waste sector

The focus on decarbonisation across nations to manage climate change with net zero places a greater emphasis on waste strategies and the role waste management can play. For example, decarbonising the fuel vehicles use –  switching from diesel to electric, hydrogen or biofuels; managing disposal sites to capture methane, decarbonising feedstock of waste combustion facilities. Ricardo have dedicated decarbonisation teams, producing innovative and cost-effective decarbonisation solutions.

Circular economy and the waste sector

The principles of a circular economy are about eliminating wastage of resources from systems. Your strategy should incorporate solutions to, not only reduce waste, but to repurpose it as a useful by-product. Ricardo’s circular economy experts can help to identify opportunities and innovative new pathways.

Resilience in the waste sector

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate – to remain useful your strategy needs to be resilient to foreseeable changes.  By understanding these changes through completion of PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental) megatrend and vulnerability assessment our team can help you to develop a more robust strategy.

At Ricardo, our experience and appreciation of waste and resource management, circular economy and net zero means we can provide an informed, tailored sector-based strategy to support you in minimising environmental impact.


Behaviour change for waste and resource management

When looking at any resource management hierarchy the focus is on avoidance in the first place, then if it must be used, do so as efficiently as possible, and if system efficiency cannot be achieved, then seek balance and circularity, minimising environmental impacts.

Avoidance requires changes in behaviour which can be achieved through correct application of different behaviour models:

  • Demand management – Forcing a change in behaviour through legislation, taxes, bans etc.
  • Supply management – Restricting the ability to undertake a behaviour, though efficiency, technology and so on.
  • Voluntary management – People understand why they need to change their behaviour and see the value causing them to do so of their own accord.

Our team recognise the importance of these models and can develop clear roadmaps to deliver changes in behaviour so that strategic objectives can be delivered.
Ricardo’s extensive experience in energy, waste and carbon management means we understand these principles and can apply them from different perspectives. 
To find out more about how Ricardo can support you to produce a robust, effective waste and resource management strategy please get in touch using the form on this page.