09 Jan 2023

Written by

Zero Waste Europe

A message from Zero Waste Europe

Zero Waste Europe - general

Over its 10 years of existence, Zero Waste Europe has benefited from regeneration and natural evolution – both in how we address our working topics and strategic objectives, and in the structure of our team. 

Some evolution instances were immediately visible to everyone: look no further than the expansion of our team from 10 to 20 people in the last 3 years, allowing us to broaden the scope of our work, integrating health, reuse, and further develop our cities work with certification schemes for cities and businesses. Other moments were, perhaps, less noticeable to the outside world. 

Joan Marc Simon and Esra Tat have been co-leading Zero Waste Europe since 2019, as Executive Director and Associate Director respectively. Together – and with our Operations Director, Katleen Verhelle, since January 2021 – they have been steering us to the impactful and momentous position in which the organisation currently finds itself. Their roles and responsibilities have become increasingly fluid over the years, acknowledging and leaning on each other’s strengths, and identifying spaces and opportunities where each of them brings the most value.

To bring even more impact to the organisation, the team, and our mission and vision, it is time to reflect this in an update of our organisational setup – though, for the Zero Waste Europe team and membership, nothing really changes and this has been our internal reality for a good few years.

As of 1 January 2023, and with unanimous approval and support from the ZWE Board and the full Management Team, Esra Tat is officially Zero Waste Europe’s Executive Director, with Joan Marc Simon assuming the role of Director-Founder. 

As Executive Director, Esra will continue using her impressive and unique strategic skills and vision to lead Zero Waste Europe, spearheading our team as we define, develop, and deliver impactful zero waste models to transform society and guarantee a circular future for our planet. Her leadership and insight into the zero waste community has been crucial to establishing Zero Waste Europe as an agent of change and a movement-building force – and we are sure this will continue to be the trend going forward.

As Director-Founder, Joan Marc will continue to focus on scouting new opportunities for Zero Waste Europe and the larger zero waste movement, identifying emerging trends, helping us to solidify and grow our relationships with like-minded organisations and key stakeholders across Europe and beyond. His extensive knowledge and long standing expertise of zero waste will be valuable to keep exploring uncharted territories and avenues to make zero waste a reality. 

We invite you to join us in congratulating Esra and Joan Marc on this natural evolution process, and to continue supporting Zero Waste Europe as we move closer to a circular future built on wellbeing, resilience, and sufficiency for all.