CEO Update: May 2021


May 6, 2021

From Lisa McLean

The Circular Economy is not only the new economic framework that will drive the jobs and industries of the future in Australia, but it also has a critical role to play in reducing carbon, tackling consumption and protecting biodiversity.

Australia and the world cannot get to zero carbon without a circular economy
Recent analysis by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation and Material Economics demonstrates that while the transition to renewable energy can cut about 55 percent of the Paris Agreement carbon reductions needed, the remaining 45 percent are locked in products and food. So how we consume is a critical piece in the race to remove carbon, meaning we can all contribute to the change, by rethinking how and what we consume.

You can catch this discussion on this at the City of Sydney’s City Talks: Green-led Recovery with Jane Fonda, Minister Matt Kean, Zali Steggall MP, David Gonski, Victor Steffensen and NSW Circular. And to catch our team speaking at future events, go to our events calendar.

NSW Circular Taskforces
Through our seven taskforces, NSW Circular is collaborating with experts to address some of the core challenges to a circular economy transition. Chairs of the Finance, Research, Industry, Infrastructure and Citizens taskforces along with the NSW Government Taskforce, and the State of Circular taskforce made up of States, Territory and federal governments, have been locking in their agendas for the next financial year to tackle key barriers to a circular economy transition. NSW Circular is proud to be driving forward the work of the former Open Cities Alliance after taking over administration for the Industry and Infrastructure taskforces. 

NSW Circular’s Finance and Investment Taskforce, chaired by Katie Dowling is developing leading thinking around circular economy credit and asset classes. In investigating the financial sector’s role in accelerating circular business through investment, the taskforce seeks to remove a key barrier to the circular economy. In turn unlocking billions of dollars in investment and industry growth through emerging circular economy innovation and business.  

NSW Circular’s Citizens Taskforce has a newly appointed Chair, Jason Graham-Nye Founder CEO of gDiapers and Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Wollongong. He is joined by Jo Taranto, Founder of Good for the Hood and United Nations Circular Economy lead, Janet Salem. They are driving forward the agenda set out by the taskforce’ previous Chair Andy Marks, to raise awareness and community level action to fast track the circular economy. Circular Challenge funding has been allocated to design circular economy community hubs to be rolled out in local areas, with explorative research being conducted by UTS Design School to inform the future direction of this taskforce.

Our Chief Circular Economist Dr Kar Mei Tang, continues to build credibility around circular economics through regular economic spotlights, and development of benchmarks, for example with Planet Ark and UTS. Don’t miss her next Australian Circular Economy Briefing in response to the 2021-22 Federal Budget Announcement. To receive this first, click here.

Research Update
On top of our work to create new circular hospital plastics supply chains, we have also partnered with UTS Institute of Sustainable Futures on circular economy benchmarks to inform NSW’s progress towards a circular economy. And with UTS Design & Innovation Research Centre we have embarked on a design research project to develop and prototype a concept for local circular economy hubs. Through these partnerships NSW Circular continues to bring together research organisations and industry to remove barriers to a circular economy.

NSW Circular has an extensive database of circular economy experts on our website we encourage you to access these circular economy experts from leading NSW research organisations who can help you solve technical and non-technical problems through leading research. If you have a circular challenge to solve please contact us.

New Australian Circle Awards
NSW Circular is thrilled to be a founding member of the newly launched The Circle Awards. Spearheaded by social enterprise The World’s Most Rubbish (TWMR), the awards are putting the spotlight on Australian and New Zealand innovators in the circular economy. Entries are now open until 14 May, across 12 categories. If you are a company who is working on a product or service, check out how to enter your own work or nominate another circular problem solver here.

Hunter JO & Central Coast District CE strategy
In April, more than 40 representatives from the Hunter and Central Coast region joined together to develop a strategic roadmap towards circularity. Attendees of the conference ranged across government, industry, research and community sector, to brainstorm circular initiatives which would prompt new growth and opportunity within the region. This event was fantastic to be a part of, demonstrating the need for collaboration in creating effective circular solutions. Well done in particular to Hunter Joint Organisation, Lake Macquarie Council and Central Coast Council for your leadership in driving this event.

Lake Macquarie is the first council to approve a CE policy.
Lake Macquarie City Council is trailblazing the circular economy pursuit of local governments around Australia, as their Circular Economy Lead, Debbie O’Byrne and her team are the first council in Australia to approve a circular economy policy. As part of this policy, Lake Macquarie Council has partnered with internationally recognised Circle Economy in conducting a City Scan, to identify the emerging opportunities of circularity in the region.

Please stay in touch and reach out to us if you have a circular economy problem to be solved or a collaboration, or you simply want to join us in our mission and be part of the circular economy.

Lisa McLean
CEO, NSW Circular

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