Providing a big voice for Scotland’s small operators
Binn Group is proud to have played a key role in establishing a representative body for the SMEs in Scotland’s vital resource management sector.
The new Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS) was launched at the Scottish Resources Conference 2019 in Perth recently. It’s role is to ensure that, 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.
Binn Group CEO Allan MacGregor was a key driver behind the new industry body.
“Although the name of Binn Group is widely recognised in Scotland, our voice was not loud enough to be heard in the corridors of power at Holyrood,” he explained. “We realised that if the many small, independent and family-run businesses within the resource management sector in Scotland were to have any say in their future, then we needed to band together and speak with one powerful voice.”
That ambition took around five years to fulfill but RMAS now enjoys recognition and support from SEPA, Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government.
“We didn’t want to push anyone away from the big table,” said Allan. “We just wanted to be sitting at it, contributing to information gathering, debate and decision making. We wanted to be an influencer that could help shape policy and safeguard the interests of the smaller players within our sector.”
Allan’s vision gathered momentum and support from other like-minded businesses in Scotland, resulting in planning meetings and gatherings being held across the country before culminating in the launch of the RMAS at the sector’s key national conference.
The timely launch will allow RMAS to respond 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 the Government and others will be able to directly engage with the resource management sector on important issues.”
Binn Group’s Commercial Director Jim Brown has been appointed to the RMAS Management Board which comprises eight representatives from companies across Scotland.
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.
Binn Ecopark’s 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.”