THURSDAY, 9 MAY 2024 | AERIAL AT UTS, SYDNEY

PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY AND PRODUCT SUSTAINABILITY ACROSS THE LIFECYCLE

The Australian Product Stewardship Forum 2024

Your gateway to learning, sharing knowledge, inspiring action, networking, and positive impact in responsible product lifecycle management with industry leaders, policymakers, and experts.

About the Event

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence recently hosted the Australian Product Stewardship Forum.

This one-day event included international keynote speakers and interactive discussion panels that inspired and challenged businesses and governments on what they can do to ensure that products placed on the Australian market are more sustainable and less harmful to the environment and society across their entire lifecycle.

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water participated in a conversation with John Gertsakis, Director of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence.  It was more than a QandA, this open-ended dialogue discussed the challenging issues, opportunities, and reforms underway to help deliver real world circularity and producer responsibility across the product lifecycle.

The speakers and panellists discussed how innovative business practices, and government policies including procurement, regulation, standards, reporting, financial incentives, along with communications and education can enable circular product design. Discussions also considered the role of sustainable and renewable resource use, avoidance of hazardous substances, product durability, reuse, repairability, recyclability, end of life management of products, and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations.

Who attended?

The Forum was inclusive and relevant to diverse stakeholders, including brands, manufacturers, importers, retailers, start-ups, government policy makers, existing and emerging scheme managers, investors, repairers, recyclers, communicators, educators, and logistics suppliers.

The forum was relevant to any organisation that places products on the Australian market, or is involved in managing and servicing products, including local government, charities, reuse, repair and recycling businesses.

Why Attend?

The Forum provided perspectives on producer responsibilities across the lifecycle; what this means for you as a brand, an importer, or retailer, and how you can proactively own the impacts and opportunities associated with an authentic product stewardship approach.

The event also facilitated networking opportunities to help attendees identify and forge valuable connections with like-minded professionals, businesses, and policy makers, creating a dynamic and driven community committed to environmentally and socially responsible product lifecycle management through the principles of product stewardship.

Event Highlights

Comprehensive insights and experiences
Experience a full day of impressive speakers, interactive panel discussions, and knowledge-sharing where participants will contribute to a collective pool of expertise exploring new ideas and tested approaches that have and can achieve measurable positive impact through authentic product stewardship.

Spotlight on best practice
The Forum will highlight best practices and challenge your thinking on what is possible, empowering participants with actionable strategies and ideas to enhance the responsible lifecycle management of products through product stewardship principles, including the relevance of effective EPR regulations.

Global perspectives
Hear and learn from local and international experts who will share their experience on specific challenges, solutions, and opportunities across the product supply chain, to advance more effective product stewardship in Australia across diverse industries and product categories.

Core principles of product stewardship
The Forum’s overarching objective is to amplify and accelerate the uptake of effective product stewardship action and understanding of the environmental, social, and economic benefits of outcome-focused product stewardship schemes and initiatives.

Thank you to our Gold Sponsor

We extend our appreciation to the NSW Environment Protection Authority for their generous support as the Gold sponsor of the Australian Product Stewardship Forum.

The NSW EPA takes an environmental stewardship approach to regulating NSW. We are responsible for caring, protecting and restoring the environment for generations of today and tomorrow. We do this through being focused on outcomes that lead to a sustainable state, being guided by empathy to bring outside perspectives in and ensure our regulations are informed by these views, and by being committed to collaborating with our stakeholders to overcome environmental challenges. Join us on our mission to protect tomorrow together.

Acknowledgement 

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence has received funding from the Australian Government to assist with its establishment including support for running this Forum. 

We also wish to acknowledge our consortium partners    Australian Industry Group, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures and Dentsu Creative – for their contribution to establishing the Centre.

Forum Presentations

Thank you to all those who attended the Australian Product Stewardship Forum. We hope you found it informative and valuable. The presentation slides from the Forum are now available to all attendees.

The presentation slides are split into three decks for the morning, mid-day, and afternoon sessions. To access the relevant presentation, you will need to enter your name, email address, and organisation. The documents will be available through to the end of July 2024.  Click on the links below to access the relevant presentation:

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Thank you for your participation and continued support.  If you have any questions or require additional support don’t hesitate to contact us through our online form.

Program

As speakers, panellists and sponsors are confirmed, the program will be updated. Check back regularly for updates.

8:00AM – 9:00AM
Registration and Networking Breakfast
Start your day by connecting with fellow participants including speakers over breakfast.

9:00AM – 10:30AM
Opening of Forum and Keynote Presentations

Welcome and opening of the Forum followed by keynote presentations.

Hear from The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water in conversation with John Gertsakis, Director of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence.  More than a QandA, this open-ended dialogue will discuss the challenging issues, opportunities, and reforms underway to help deliver real world circularity and producer responsibility across the product lifecycle.

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director for Circular Economy in the European Commission (online) will report on landmark policies, directives, and regulations being applied by members of the European Union.

Three separate panel discussions will be facilitated by Claire Kneller, Managing Director of WRAP Asia Pacific. Time has been allocated to allow and encourage questions from Forum delegates.

10:30AM – 12:00PM
Panel Discussion Session
DESIGN & PRODUCTION | MATERIALS, DESIGN, MANUFACTURING
Hear from panelists on specific policies, programs, and business actions that drive responsible supply chain practices, including circular product and service design, more sustainable material choices, efficient resource use, emissions reduction, avoidance of unsafe chemicals, and reuse of recovered materials.  Speakers include:

Matjaž Malgaj | Head of Unit & Coordinator of the Sustainable Products Initiative, European Commission (online)

Steve Baty | Chief Executive Officer, Australian Design Council

Audrey Chinn | Senior Adviser, Telstra Corporation

Sebastien Ng | National Sales Manager Solar Energy, Fronius Australia

Katherine Featherstone | Senior Manager – Products & Materials, Green Building Council of Australia

12:00PM – 1:00PM
Networking Lunch
Enjoy a networking lunch to foster connections and discuss key takeaways from the first half of the day.

1:00PM – 2.30PM
Panel Discussion Session
CONSUMPTION | USE, REUSE, REPAIR, RETAIL
Hear from panelists on specific policies, regulations, programs, and business actions that can extend the life of products, foster repair and reuse, educate consumers, and incentivise more sustainable behaviours. Innovative business models focused on waste prevention will also be explored and discussed. Speakers include:

Jennifer Macklin | Senior Research Officer, BehaviourWorks Australia

Ainsley Simpson | Chief Executive Officer, Seamless | Australia’s Clothing Stewardship Scheme

Professor Leanne Wiseman | Griffith Law School & Convenor of the Australian Repair Network

David Woollcott | Chief Executive Officer, King Living Furniture

3:00PM – 4:30PM
Panel Discussion Session
POST CONSUMPTION | END OF LIFE
Hear from panelists on specific policies, regulations, programs, and business actions covering product take-back of used products, collection and logistics, material recovery and recycling, as well as establishing new markets for recovered products, parts, and materials. Speakers include:

Pablo Dias | Cofounder and CTO, Solarcycle Inc. (online)

Libby Chaplin | Chief Executive Officer, Battery Stewardship Council

Vaughan Levitzke PSM | Member of the Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group

Danielle Smalley | Chief Executive Officer, Exchange for Change

Tony Chappel | CEO, NSW EPA

4:30PM – 5:00PM
Closing Keynote Address and Remarks
Pete Shmigel from Uplift Consulting and a general hand at Revolve ReCYCLING will wrap up the Forum with a solution-oriented address including reflections on the day’s activities.

Louise McGrath, the Head of Industry Development and Policy at the Australian Industry Group will also share some closing remarks.

5:00PM – 7:00 PM
Networking Drinks
Close your day with a relaxed networking event to further engage with fellow participants, fostering new relationships and reflecting on the day’s sessions. MC for the evening will be Professor Damien Giurco from the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS.

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