The Board’s role in the governance of Zero Waste Scotland is to ensure that the organisation strives for excellent performance in accordance with board-approved performance standards, whilst appropriately balancing performance with responsible legal and other conformance obligations.
The Board is accountable to Scottish Ministers and works with the Executive Leadership Team of Zero Waste Scotland to provide strategic direction for the organisation and adhere to the principles of good corporate governance. It acts on a collective basis and must carry out its duties with independence and impartiality and in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association and Standing Orders for Zero Waste Scotland. Its role is the provision of advice, challenge, support and assurance.
It has the following functions:
- To represent the interests of the Minister and ensure that Zero Waste Scotland delivers its functions in accordance with the Ministers’ policies and priorities;
- To ensure financial stewardship;
- To provide active and strategic leadership of Zero Waste Scotland by:
- Agreeing the organisation’s strategy;
- Setting cost effective plans to implement the strategy;
- Establishing a performance management framework which enables underperformance to be addressed quickly;
- Establishing the values and standards of Zero Waste Scotland and ensuring that the organisation adopts and complies with codes of conduct for staff and Board directors
- Ensuring that the highest standards of governance are complied with, that the organisation complies with all Ministerial guidance, its company memorandum, articles of association, grant award, legislation and that a framework of prudent and effective controls is in place to enable risks to be assessed and managed;
- Focusing on the difference that the organisation is making in the outside world, i.e. effects on customers and citizens;
- Ensuring that Zero Waste Scotland is a Best Value organisation;
- To hold the Chief Executive (and senior staff) to account for the management of the organisation and the delivery of agreed plans on time and within budget;
- To represent Zero Waste Scotland where required and to be an ambassador for Zero Waste Scotland and a champion of the environment.
Role of the Board Chair
The Zero Waste Scotland Chair has additional responsibilities over and above non-executive directors, particularly in relation to strategic leadership and the conduct of Board business.
These include the following;
- Taking lead responsibility in representing the body in links with Ministers and the Scottish Parliament (other directors may also be involved from time to time);
- Advising our sponsor Department (the Environment and Forestry Directorate) and Minister (Michael Matheson MSP – Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport) about Board appointments and the performance of individual members;
- Taking the lead in building links, at Board level, with partner organisations and other stakeholders;
- Ensuring that you have a proper knowledge and understanding of your corporate role and responsibilities;
- Ensuring that the Board carries out its essential functions efficiently and effectively so that:
- All planned business is dealt with, a conclusion is reached in respect of each item and you understand the conclusions reached;
- The Board takes proper account of Departmental guidance etc. in reaching decisions
- All decisions by the Board are clearly and accurately minuted;
- The Board delegates sufficient authority to its committees and to the Chief Executive Directors are given the opportunity to express views before any important decision is taken;
- The Board receives professional advice when needed;
- Developing an effective working relationship with the Chief Executive:
- Overseeing the way the Chief Executive, together with the other senior managers, implements Board decisions;
- Agreeing the Chief Executive’s annual performance targets and undertaking the assessment of his performance - possibly gaining Board (or Board Committee) approval for both the targets and the performance assessment.
Helen has 35 years’ experience in the public and third sectors.
She joined the Board of Zero Waste Scotland in 2017, when she was CEO of WISE, a community interest company enterprise promoting gender balance in science, technology and engineering across the UK. Previous executive roles include founding director of Equal to the Occasion consultancy; Director of Campaigns at the Equal Opportunities Commission and Regional Manager for the National Lottery Charities Board in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Helen’s non-executive experience includes Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of YWCA England and Wales (now the Young Women’s Trust).
In 2022 she joined the board of Phoenix Futures, a charity and housing association which supports people to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
Born in London and raised in Manchester, Helen now lives on a smallholding in South West Scotland, where she grows fruit and vegetables organically and manages the land to improve biodiversity.
Gerard O Sullivan
Gerard O Sullivan joined our board in 2017 bringing diverse international career experiences in private, public and charity sectors to the board. Gerard is a member of our Audit and Risk Committee and is also Deputy Chair of Zero Waste Scotland.
Previously a Commercial Director and Head of the Energy and Carbon Management team with a UK FTSE 100 business, Gerard has recently completed studies with Oxford Said Business School in the areas of Circular Economy, Sustainability and Environment.
A degree-qualified Electrical and Electronics Engineer, Gerard also holds an MBA from London Business School as well as Diploma qualifications from the UK Energy Institute, London and the FT London Non-Executive Director program.
Passionate about the power of people to transform and reshape our world through education and coaching, Gerard is an active mentor of executives at all levels of business.
As well as being a board member with a Scotland-based charity, Gerard is Treasurer and Board member for a UK-wide not-for-profit member association business based in London.
Janet Swadling (OBE)
Janet is a Non-Executive Board Member for Zero Waste Scotland and is Chair of the People & Remuneration Committee.
Out with Zero Waste Scotland, Janet is a Non-Executive Director for the Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH) and until recently was their Chief Executive. Janet is well-known in the field of agricultural education, skills and development, having held a variety of senior posts in the sector for nearly 30 years. In December 2022, Janet was awarded an OBE in His Majesty The King’s New Year Honours list, for services to farming & education.
Janet’s Non-Executive portfolio also includes holding the role of Independent Director on the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), Chair of the HGCA pension scheme and a member of the United Learning Audit and Risk Committee.
Janet is a qualified Governance Professional / Chartered Secretary and has an MBA from Heriot Watt. Her particular interests are in executive coaching, governance, strategy, and risk management.
Morag Macdonald is a creative, successful business leader and chartered accountant with a 30-year career in senior roles in industry, private practice and the not for profit sector.
She spent the first part of her career working within the accounting profession (mergers and acquisitions) and the high tech sector (various roles, including CFO of AOL UK). She moved into the not for profit sector in 2001, working for a number of charities focussed on alleviating poverty and promoting education.
Morag now runs her own consultancy business for not for profits, providing affordable business and financial planning services.
Morag is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and is passionate about social justice and the circular economy.
Seigo has a background in strategy consulting, with particular focus on the circular economy (CE), advising governments, multi-national firms, and start-ups on CE strategy and operations.
A passionate environmentalist with a wealth of experience as a Circular Economy Consultant, Seigo is sure to translate his expertise and solid knowledge of global circular economy best practice, gained through his PhD studies, into strategic interventions that enact change.
Formerly Head of the Centre for Remanufacturing & Reuse, he also brings board experience from public and private sectors, and was part of the technical committee for BS8001, the world’s first CE standard. As a Churchill Fellow, he investigated social enterprises using CE approaches from around the world.
He holds a MEng in Chemical Engineering and an EMBA, and is working toward a PhD in Circular Economy Business Models.
Amitoj Singh boasts over 17 years of experience in the energy industry, gained both in the UK and New Zealand.
Amitoj holds an MBA, majoring in Project Management and has expert knowledge in programme governance, monitoring performance, and mitigating risk. Amitoj will clearly, also, be an invaluable addition to the board.Amitoj is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). He also sits on the IET Council and is a Professional Registration Advisor.
With significant experience in project portfolio management, he has presented at 35 conferences on electrical asset management associated topics.
He is also an inclusion and diversity ambassador, and a member of the leadership board at Association for Black and Ethnic Engineers UK - Scotland. He is a Board member - Trustee at StreetFit Scotland.
Amitoj has an electrical engineering degree, diploma in asset management, and is completing a MBA in Project Management.
Iain Gulland is Zero Waste Scotland’s founding Chief Executive and was the Programme Director of the predecessor programme, WRAP Scotland.
Previously Iain worked with initiating recycling systems in the public, private and third sectors and led the Community Recycling Network, Scotland until 2008.
Iain has recently been appointed President of the Association of Cities and Regions for Resource Management (ACR+) and is a member of several Scottish Government Programme Boards including those covering low carbon and manufacturing.
Iain was named the ‘most inﬂuential person in the UK waste and resource efficiency sector’ by Resource Magazine (2014) and was granted fellowship of the Chartered Institution of Waste Management in 2016.
Role of the Chief Executive
The Chief Executive has accountability to the Board for the overall organisation, management and stafﬁng of Zero Waste Scotland. He must devise and implement appropriate management structures and processes and ensure the organisation has the necessary people resource for it to achieve its mission.
The key roles of the Chief Executive are:
- To assist the Board in developing the Strategy for Zero Waste Scotland. This will involve devising alternative strategies by which Zero Waste Scotland might achieve its purpose and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each for the Board;
- To devise and recommend a corporate plan which will allow for the full implementation of the Board’s adopted strategies within the resources available;
- To devise and implement management structures and processes which will allow Zero Waste Scotland to implement agreed corporate plans;
- To ensure that Zero Waste Scotland has managers and staff with the necessary skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to be able to implement agreed corporate plans;
- To lead and inspire the organisation to fully implement agreed corporate plans on time and within budget to achieve agreed objectives;
- To monitor carefully the implementation of plans, adjusting them as needs be;
- To ensure that the Board is kept adequately informed so as to be able to discharge its duty to monitor performance;
- To develop and maintain positive relationships with ofﬁcials of the Environment and Forestry Directorate to understand Ministerial aspirations and to ensure that the Department understands the challenges facing Zero Waste Scotland;
- To develop and maintain an effective relationship with the Chair and to ensure an effective link between senior managers and the non-executive Board directors.