Richard Piper

Richard has 30 years’ experience in civil society: charities, social enterprises, and social change agencies. With a PhD in identity and organisational change, his early career was as a researcher, evaluator, and organisational consultant with particular expertise in ‘impact’, charity strategy, organisational change, innovation, leadership and governance. Previously CEO of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and Director of Impact at Mencap, he has worked across health and wellbeing (rare childhood diseases, learning disability, alcohol harm) in his last three roles. He has led Alcohol Change UK since Sep 2017. He lives in St Albans and has two teenage daughters. He is a keen runner and football player despite not being good at either and he dabbles in spoken word poetry.

‘NoLo’ drinks and their potential to remove harm

Given that the overwhelmingly powerful alcohol industry has such a massive negative impact on alcohol harm – by actively driving up levels of consumption of alcohol – it is no surprise that there is suspicion about so-called ‘NoLo’ drinks.

However, the alcohol industry does not exist to create harm – it exists to maximise profit. It creates harm as an inevitable by-product of seeking profits by choosing to sell drinks with alcohol in them. But what if the alcohol was removed from these drinks?

I will present new research to argue that alcohol-free (up to 0.05%) or ultra-low-alcohol (up to 1%) drinks have the potential to remove huge amounts of alcohol harm from society – regardless, to a degree, of how the industry tries to market these drinks.