Thank you to Jane Stephenson
28th April 2020
Bristol Green Capital Partnership staff and directors would like to give our thanks to Jane Stephenson, who recently stepped down as a director of the Partnership and as chair of the Waste and Resources Action Group, and to recognise just some of the contributions she has made to the city.
Jane Stephenson has made an enormous contribution to the environmental movement in Bristol and beyond over the last few decades, and her knowledge, ambition and passion has been an inspiration to many. It is impossible to recount all the organisations and projects in which Jane has played an instrumental role, but here are a few.
After arriving in Bristol in early 1983, Jane got her teeth into environmental activism straight away. As a member of Avon Friends of the Earth, Jane campaigned to enable them to run kerbside recycling collections (Resourcesaver) in the 1980s. The group had little funding but were hugely dedicated, and at one point they used a horse and cart to collect waste paper from across the city!
Jane was a founding director of SOFA, supported the establishment of Waste Watch in the 1980s where she was a director and then chair until 2005, and was an executive director of The Recycling Consortium from 1994-2006. Jane pioneered education programmes and community-led initiatives to support sustainable resource use in Bristol, and took those models elsewhere, including to form the successful CAG Oxfordshire network.
Her commitment to collaborative working across the sustainability sector in Bristol led to directorships of some of the predecessors of the Partnership: Bristol Energy and Environment Trust (1990s) and Western Partnership for Sustainable Development (early 2000s). She also worked with Bristol City Council and Bristol Energy Centre to develop the Create Centre which opened in 1995.
In 2006, Jane led the formation of Resource Futures, transforming what had been 3 largely grant funded organisations into a successful UK-wide consultancy without compromising the organisation’s commitment to supporting community-led initiatives. She also led Resource Futures push to become an accredited B Corp in 2016, which means they are committed to doing business in a way that is good for society and the planet as well as in a financially sustainable way.
Jane was a founding director of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC and has chaired the Waste and Resources Action Group (WRAG) for six years – another example of her commitment to collaborative approaches. She was involved in setting up the Bristol Re-Use Network and ran a successful pilot of a reuse facility at St Philips recycling centre as part of Bristol’s European Green Capital year in 2015. A reuse shop has now opened at the Avonmouth recycling centre.
In addition to all these achievements and contributions, Jane has been a consistently fantastic person to work with – positive, supportive and full of ideas. The Partnership and WRAG will sorely miss her expertise and unflinching commitment to making the world more sustainable. But we are sure she will continue to put these to good use.
Mohammed Saddiq, chair of Bristol Green Capital Partnership, commented: “The directors would like to thank Jane for her invaluable contributions to the Partnership, and especially her stewardship of the Waste and Resources Action Group.”
Alastair Sawday, former chair of Bristol Green Capital Partnership and long-standing environmental activist said: “Jane has been around as an active and productive environmentalist for almost as long as anyone in Bristol. She could always be counted upon to be there, to be helpful and to be analytical and rigorous. And she has also been a prolific creator. Bristol would be less green without her.”
We are pleased to welcome Bethan Jones, Head of Behaviour Change and Director at Resource Futures, to the Partnership’s board of directors, and Robbie Staniforth, Head of Policy at Ecosurety, as the new chair of the Waste and Resources Action Group.