Last week Edge Environment’s’ Blake Lindley attended the Powering the Change to a Circular Economy conference in Adelaide. The conference hosted an array of international speakers who provided insight into how the Circular Economy may progress in Australia, and, how companies are adopting its principles internationally.
Blake presented on the Better Building Partnership’s ongoing work in reducing waste from stripout, which is now moving into its next phase of designing out waste through improved fitout guidelines. While much of the benefit of this program has focused on waste diversion rather than a purist view of circular economy, the importance of collaboration in shifting behaviours and systemizing change in an industry was emphasized.
A strong European contingent of companies and policy makers leading in the application of circular economy passed on their experience working on new business models to support circularity, while policy makers explained their role in supporting markets to do so. However, a true circular economy (and indeed a truly circular product) remains a long way off, as existing methods of material recovery, logistics and policy makers struggle to play the roles they need to. In this light, the input from both distinguished thinkers and academics in this space help step out a transition. While the ambition of solving these problems over two days of conference is aspiring, there is still plenty to mull over as we return to our day jobs. No doubt some of the ideas shared and relationships made will help in powering the change to a circular economy.