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23-03-23 - Philippe Voet

Introducing FINAT’s new committee structure

At the Committee Summit in Amsterdam held on 16 February, nearly 40 participants contributed their energy and expertise to set the targets and tasks for 2023 and 2024. The meeting was an important step in FINAT’s transition from its traditional two dimensional structure to a four dimensional layout directly linked to our association’s current ‘Four Pillar’ strategy. Instead of the two plenary Technical and Marketing Committees, FINAT’s volunteer workload has now been divided into four ‘Workstreams’, each representing one of the four pillars ‘Community’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Advocacy’.

President Philippe Voet explains the thinking behind this new configuration: “Under normal circumstances, the disruptions of the past three years could have easily filled the entire decade. We have seen rapid changes in terms of the EU Green Deal tsunami of legislation, sustainability and recycling, industry consolidation, market volatility, supply chain management, labour markets, technology evolution and remote working practices. This forces FINAT to also change the way we operate and to become more agile. Our new structure aligns with our strategy and aims to secure the heritage of our former sub-committees, the engagement of our volunteer workforce, while at the same time adding a layer of dedicated taskforces with a limited timeline and clearly defined deliverable. With these taskforces, we are taking advantage of the rapid acceleration of online meeting technology that enables ‘third tier’ member company experts who would normally not travel to FINAT meetings to be involved in the work of FINAT. Whilst we should be careful to avoid fragmentation of initiatives, we are taking advantage of the experience of CELAB-Europe, the recycling consortium that kicked off just after the first lockdown in March 2020 and was forced to operate in a virtual manner in its first two and half years.”

Working Groups and Taskforces

To manage and coordinate the work in their domain, each workstream has two co-chairs, one of whom will be a member of the Executive Board and the other one on the Non-Executive Board (subject to approval of the General Assembly in  Vienna of course). They will be supported by a dedicated staff member at the FINAT secretariat. In the coming period, we will introduce the co-chairs of each workstream. A special Board taskforce is currently reviewing the FINAT Governance structure going forward including the necessary amendments in FINAT’s constitution as well as the nominations for election in June.

Each workstream has a number of permanent Working Groups that continue the work of the former sub committees, but in a new configuration and in some cases a new name. Where there is overlap in scope between different workstreams, there will be alignment in the composition of the Working Groups between the workstream co-chairs. The same applies to the 8 Taskforces that were set up on 16 February with a specific task and deliverables to be completed in 2023-2024. Going forward, all committees and taskforces will meet twice a year at a Committee Summit, while most of the work in the intermediate period will take place via Zoom or MS Teams. To facilitate the planning and work of the Working Groups and Taskforces, a special Cloud portal will be set up to enable sharing of and collaboration on documents.

Download the infographic of the new structure here.

Will YOU become a member of the inner circles of FINAT?

The past five weeks since the Committee Summit, the co-chairs of each workstream have reviewed the outcomes of the roundtables and have been setting the Workforces and Taskforces in motion. The starting lineup of the taskforces was determined by the breakdown of the roundtables in Amsterdam but is still subject to change as FINAT would like to invite all present and potential Working Group or Taskforce members to reconfirm or to continue dedicating their expertise, or indicate their interest to actively contribute to one or more groups, subject to the expertise required. For more information about the scope and deliverables of the Working Groups or Taskforce feel free to contact the secretariat or one of the Workstream Co-Chairs.

Next stop: FINAT Committee Summit, Wednesday 31 May 2023, from 8.30 – 12.30 hrs. at the Hilton Park Vienna, prior to the European Label Forum.