Sustainability takes centre stage at RWM Expo 2023

Photography by Karla Gowlett

Collaboration and innovation were the key messages as several thousand industry professionals gathered at this year’s Resource & Waste Management Expo (RWM).

The two-day event at Birmingham’s NEC provided a unique opportunity to shift the dial on environmental action as suppliers, thought leaders and key industry figures came together to network, share ideas and learn more about new green technologies and developments.

Keynote speakers included environmental advocate Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, Simon Munday, the Moral Money Editor at the Financial Times and James Honeyborne, Executive Producer of Blue Planet II. As well as dozens of other exclusive content sessions, the Expo featured live product demonstrations, activations and hundreds of interactive supplier stands.

Among them was safety wear specialist Contego – returning to the show for a second year. “Events like this drive innovation through collaboration and competition,” said Alex Sanders, Relationship Manager at Contego. “Unique products and ideas are shared and the overlap between otherwise disconnected services are given the space to find similarities.”

Positive energy

Working together is clearly crucial to mitigate some of the challenges facing the environmental services industry. As well as tough economic conditions in the UK there are still Brexit regulations to navigate as well as the ongoing legacy from the Covid-19 pandemic.

On top of this, the resource and waste management sector is also on the front line when it comes to harmful emissions and enabling a truly circular economy. But the focus of the conversations at the Expo was on solutions, not problems.

“I think the mood of the industry is one of optimism,” said Rob Collins, Relationship Manager, who joined Alex on the Contego stand. “People are seeing growth, and we had some great conversations with new contacts and existing customers on how the industry is moving forward with net zero targets that benefit everyone.”

Sustainable future

And that laser focus on excellence in sustainable resource management now permeates all levels of the business world. “Customers and suppliers expect the highest levels of environmental, social and governance standards when it comes to choosing who to partner with,” said Nick Reay, Head of Sales at Contego. “It benefits everyone: our green credentials give us a genuine competitive edge which then drives our industry as a whole to reach the highest possible standards.”

It’s clear that the annual event – which relaunches next year as the Environmental Services and Solutions (ESS) Expo – is a crucial date in the calendar. “Being part of the debate at the Expo is a great way for us to connect with clients and prospects, in person, and crucially to understand their priorities and goals,” Nick added. And, for Rob, it was those one-to- one interactions that really added value. “The biggest highlight was learning about businesses and any current issues they might face,” he said. “Hopefully we can then work on a solution that keeps them and their colleagues safer.”

Contego is a leading provider of PPE and workwear that has embedded ESG in its value and culture. Its core business goal is minimal environmental impact. Contego is ISO 14001 accredited. If you would like to find out more details about its ESG credentials or to arrange an initial call, please email

Published on 21 September 2023


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