Guidance for a more circular future in Australia and APAC presented at Circularity 2023

Last week, Australia’s brightest innovators and business leaders gathered for Circularity 2023, a conference in Melbourne that drove actionable change towards implementing a more circular future.

  • The Conference brought together passionate business and government leaders and provided actionable steps towards a more circular future
  • New research findings from Planet Ark revealed at the conference show progress in the circular economy confidence-knowledge gap

Presented by Diversified Communications in partnership with Planet Ark’s Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACE) Hub, Circularity encouraged sectors with the greatest environmental impact to rethink the whole supply chain and systems design and maximise sustainable development.

Featuring keynotes from an array of business leaders and respected sustainability experts, including former European Commissioner for Environment Dr. Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair and Partner of the UNEP International Resource Panel, the 2023 Circularity Conference inspired conversations and action towards a circular future for Australia and the Asia Pacific.

Sessions covered topics across various industries, including the built environment, fashion and textiles, banking and finance, food and agriculture, and more.

The ACE Hub unveiled findings from its report, Circularity in Australian Business (CIAB) 2023: Perceptions, Knowledge and Actions Beyond Recycling, which provides Australia’s only longitudinal research to date capturing the sentiment of Australian businesses in their circular economy journey. This year’s report reveals that the confidence-knowledge gap of the circular economy is closing.

  • Those who were confident in their knowledge about the concept of the circular economy dropped from 81 per cent in 2021 to 52 per cent; however, the number of participants who correctly identified the definition of ‘circular economy’ increased from 27 per cent in 2021 to 35 per cent.
  • Additionally, around 82 percent of survey participants said making the transition was either extremely, very, or somewhat important to the future of their business. However, lack of information and business culture are perceived as key barriers to action, highlighting the need for educational resources like the ACE Hub and Circularity Conference.

“It’s incredibly important to continue conversations, collaborations and actions for a circular economy beyond the conference,” said Nicole Garofano, Head of Circular Economy Development at Planet Ark Environmental Foundation

“It’s promising to see in this year’s CIAB report that the confidence-knowledge gap on the concept of the circular economy is closing; however, there’s still so much room to improve in terms of overall knowledge. This year’s conference provided an excellent leap pad for Australian businesses, innovators and government leaders to take real steps in excelling their contribution to the circular economy, and we look forward to seeing progress over the next year.”

The conference’s Innovation Pitch Fest, sponsored by Circular Economy Victoria (CEV), provided a showcase opportunity for the innovation trailblazers, driving the transition to a thriving circular economy in Australia. This year’s pitches were judged by a panel of industry experts who provided instant feedback on a number of criteria, including consumer need, innovation, point of difference, and go-to-market strategy. 

The winner of this year’s pitch fest was Koskela, a sustainable designer furniture and homewares company, with an honourable mention presented to No Offence Wines.

The 2023 ACE Awards winners, presented by The ACE Hub, were announced at a celebratory cocktail reception during the conference. The awards recognised the individuals and brands driving Australia’s transition towards a circular economy through their products and initiatives. 

Circularity Conference 2023 was sponsored by Bingo Industries, Circular Economy Victoria, Coles, KPMG, Melbourne Convention Bureau, Sustainability Victoria, Tetra Pak, and Visit Melbourne.

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