Upcoming Webinar – Packaging Stewardship – Global and Local Lessons

Date and time: Thurs, 18 APR 2024 | 1:00PM – 2:00PM AEDT

Webinar – Applying Traceability in Product Stewardship Initiatives

Date and time: Thurs, 7 Mar 2024 | 1:00PM – 2:00PM AEDT

Webinar – The Role of Repair in Product Stewardship

Date and time: Wed, 30 Nov 2023 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM AEDT

Media Release: November 2, 2023: Product Stewardship Excellence Awards 2023 Winners Announced

Consumers today are demonstrating an increasing awareness of the environmental impacts associated with the products they purchase, use, and eventually discard. Authentic product stewardship is expanding its role of collecting and recycling, by evolving into a more holistic approach embraced by manufacturers and brands who put products into market. 

Product stewardship encompasses all facets of a product’s lifecycle, from design, durability and repairability, to effective consumer education, decarbonisation, using sustainable materials, eliminating hazardous materials, reuse, and increasing the amount of recycled content in new goods. Being a responsible product steward is not a new approach, but it certainly indicates that brands are increasingly taking greater environmental responsibility for their products. 

This year’s Product Stewardship Excellence Awards recognise outstanding commitment and innovation in product lifecycle management through national stewardship initiatives across diverse industries and sectors. 

The Awards were presented at an event in Sydney on Thursday 2nd November. The Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek has been very clear about the need for Australia to transition to a circular economy and to place greater emphasis on designing-out waste and pollution while also prolonging the life of products and materials. This includes current government activity to regulate industries and products such as solar panels, packaging and small electronic products 

Entrants this year reflected a growing number of companies, brands, and associations, that are acutely focused on minimising environmental impact, optimising resource use, and enhancing overall sustainability right through to managing products and materials at end-of-life. 

Environmental issues are firmly on the agenda for governments, industry and the public, and the demand for effective national solutions is a high priority for all stakeholders. Best-practice product stewardship enables manufacturers and brands to transform their high-level ESG promises into real-world action that has meaning for consumers and the public. 

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence congratulates all winners for their outstanding efforts in championing better product lifecycle management through product stewardship. Their commitment to environmental responsibility and innovation serves as an inspiration to other brands and industries. 

Congratulations to the 2023 Product Stewardship Excellence Awards Winners: 

Best Stewardship Outcomes Collective Scheme: Australia New Zealand Recycling Platform 

Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP) demonstrated exceptional commitment to product stewardship. They highlight how industry can work together to achieve sustainable outcomes through reuse, repair, and recycling. ANZRP’s collection of 21,460 tonnes of e-waste in 2021/22 and the reuse of 91% of recovered materials in new products showcased their unwavering commitment to sustainable practices. 

Best Stewardship Outcomes Large Business: Schütz Australia 

Schütz Australia demonstrated an innovative approach and commitment to circular practices with their reusable packaging systems through responsible product management, minimising waste, and maximizing the reuse of resources. Their Ticket Collection program, first initiated around 30 years ago, has grown rapidly recently. Schütz have successfully recovered around 16,000 tonnes of plastic over the last 4 years. They collect used containers, repair, and reuse them, and efficiently manage any that can’t be reused through recycling. 

Best Stewardship Outcomes SME: Cultivated 

Cultivated advocates for longevity and repairability in the furniture circular economy. Their commitment to quality materials and thoughtful design ensures products endure, contributing to a more sustainable and circular approach in the industry. 

Excellence in Design for Product Stewardship: A.H. Beard 

A.H. Beard demonstrated exemplary efforts with their Origins mattress range. Addressing the environmental crisis of mattress accumulation in landfills, the company’s innovative design approach tackles waste, pollution, and emissions, paving the way for a more responsible and sustainable mattress industry. 

Product Stewardship Champion of the Year: Sophi MacMillan 

An accomplished and respected product stewardship professional, Sophi MacMillan is a deserving recipient of the 2023 Product Stewardship Champion Award. Her contribution over two decades has been impactful, and always focused on uniting industry stakeholders towards action and solutions. From her work with the Vinyl Council and the Asia Pacific Vinyl Network to her current role leading the ResiLoop scheme for the Australian Resilient Flooring Association, Sophi is a key player who understands the value and role of product stewardship in a sustainable future. 

John Gertsakis, a director of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, expressed gratitude for the remarkable work of all entrants, stating, “The Awards shine a light on those individuals and organisations that go above and beyond in managing products responsibly. This year’s winners have demonstrated what is possible when manufacturers, brands and industry associations activate the potential of product stewardship.” 

The Centre applauds their achievements and expects that their success will inspire other businesses and industries to follow. As consumers, we should expect much more from the brands we use and support. 

The Centre looks forward to the continued growth of product stewardship thinking and action and encourages all participants to build on this momentum and drive positive change in their industry. 

For media inquiries, please contact:
John Gertsakis
0409 422 089 

Download a pdf of this media release here.

Webinar – Avoiding Greenwashing for Product Stewardship Initiatives

Webinar – Avoiding Greenwashing for Product Stewardship Initiatives. Date and time: Wed, 18 Oct 2023 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM AEDT

Webinar – Performance metrics for Product Stewardship

Webinar – Performance metrics for Product Stewardship – 3 August 2023

Webinar – Business and Consumer Engagement in Product Stewardship

Webinar – Business and Consumer Engagement in Product Stewardship – 20 July 2023

Webinar – Product stewardship effectiveness

Webinar – Product stewardship effectiveness – 13 July 2023

Media Release: June 28, 2023: Six new data reports on how product stewardship delivers environmental, social and economic benefits.

Australia’s landmark study of the benefits and effectiveness of product stewardship today released six new data reports to further understanding of how product stewardship can deliver environmental, social and economic benefits and provide businesses and government with a pathway to transition to a circular economy.

These reports provide an important and timely evidence base as governments, businesses and the community place greater emphasis on creating a sustainable future. The findings also confirm the importance of product stewardship being a major business-focused approach to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials circulating in the economy, regenerate natural systems and decarbonise the economy.

The six reports are:

Evaluating Stewardship Benefits and Effectiveness, Summary Report which provides an overview of the research findings including extent of product stewardship activity, benefits, levels of engagement, challenges and future opportunities.

Product stewardship benefits assessment 2022: General population report based on a survey of 1,000 Australians to measure awareness and understanding of product stewardship. A key finding was that product durability and longevity are key purchase considerations for consumers.

Product stewardship benefits assessment 2022: Business report based on interviews with 600 Australian businesses which found businesses are most engaged with product stewardship activities that relate to the production stage of the lifecycle, especially consideration of improved material choices and responsible supply chain practices.

Product stewardship benefits assessment 2022: Local Government report based on a survey of 89 local government staff to assess awareness and understanding of product stewardship among staff and assess the nature of their engagement with product stewardship initiatives.

Effectiveness and Benefits of Product Stewardship: Themes from 60 Qualitative Interviews with Stewardship Actors and Experts. This report found the key environmental performance indicators reported ranged from diverting materials from landfill (e.g. material recovery, product repair and reuse, recycled content in products); preventing waste (e.g. making products more durable, dematerialising packaging); reducing greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. powering supply chains with renewable energy); and conserving natural resources (e.g. substituting virgin materials with recycled materials, using less water and energy).

Environmental, social and economic benefits of product stewardship initiatives in Australia: A survey of publicly reported environmental, social and economic performance data for 106 product stewardship collective schemes and individual business initiatives which provides insights into what makes product stewardship schemes successful. This data is made available on the Product Stewardship Gateway, a detailed database of existing and emerging product stewardship initiatives run by industry sectors and businesses in Australia.

All reports are now available on www.stewardshipexcellence.com.au.

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence and consortium partners will unpack the content in the six reports during three webinars in July and August.

•  Product stewardship effectiveness – 13th July 1-2pm – Dr Nick Florin UTS ISF and Lina Goodman (Tyre Stewardship Australia)
•  Business and consumer engagement – 20th July 1-2pm
•  Performance metrics for product stewardship – 3 Aug 1-2pm

Register for the webinars via https://stewardshipexcellence.com.au/events/.

Study co-author Dr Nick Florin, Institute for Sustainable Futures, said the reports and webinars would be highly useful for policy makers, product stewards and business decision makers.

“This is the most comprehensive data set in Australia on product stewardship with insights around what stewardship has achieved and how it can be extended and made more effective,” Dr Florin said.

“There is an intense amount of policy work underway as Australia continues to search for answers to our environmental problems, including the impacts of production, consumption and waste generation. These reports can help inform the work of Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek’s Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group, the work of State Government environment agencies and for brands and industries looking for sustainable solutions,” Dr Florin said.

The studies were conducted by UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures in partnership with the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence. UTS was funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

For more information:
Dr Nick Florin

Media Inquiries:
Tim Powell 0411 725 595

Media Release: Growth in Product Stewardship continues as Spyro Kalos joins the Centre of Excellence

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence is very pleased to announce that Spyro Kalos has joined the team as a senior adviser.

The former head of MobileMuster will play an important role in several key Centre activities, including our highly successful awards program and other business-focused services.

His extensive experience in the telecommunications industry with Optus and Vodafone (now TPG Telecom), involved numerous roles across the product lifecycle including channel management, customer relations and operations.

“Spyro’s expertise and real-world understanding of business priorities and product stewardship solutions will be a major asset to the Centre as its programs expand in 2023,” Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence Director Professor Damien Giurco said.

Spyro’s vision for product stewardship schemes and initiatives has always been that they expand and become more than just take-back programs. In the last seven years he has not only grown MobileMuster’s recycling volumes, maintained high levels of industry participation and strengthened its reputation, but has also broadened its product scope and integrated circularity principles, specifically around, reuse, repair, and recycling.

“At a time when consumer expectations are demanding higher levels of product and service sustainability, Spyro will expand the Centre’s capabilities and networks with a view to delivering positive outcomes” Professor Giurco said.

The Centre welcomes Spyro to the team and looks forward to him being part an exciting growth phase of more businesses adopting product stewardship as they look towards implementing real-world circular economy outcomes by 2030.

Click here to download the media release.

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