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ENVIRO Conference to discuss necessary shift in thinking

“Australia’s transition to a circular economy has a long way to go and will involve all areas of industry, community and government coming together to play their part shifting from linear to circular,” Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) Chief Executive Officer Gayle Sloan said two weeks out from the ENVIRO Conference the association will be hosting in Brisbane.

“It’s alarming that only 5.4 per cent of materials across the country are fully circular – that’s a long way to go reach the Federal Government’s target of going circular by 2030. More than a step change is necessary to shift the mindset across the board to ensure the life and value of materials is maximised and carbon is minimised.

“Australia needs to stop the almost total focus on end of life and address how products are designed and consumed before they even touch our industry.”

Sloan said that given some 50 per cent of global green house gas emissions and 90 per cent of global biodiversity loss and water stress is caused by resource extraction and processing, material cannot just be left to the waste and resource recovery industry to deal with it at the end of the pipe.

“As a planet and a country, we need to cut the amount entering the pipe, alter what goes into the pipe, reduce the amount making it to the end of the pipe, and ensure what comes out at the end of the pipe can be recovered,” she said.

“The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia is hosting the 2024 ENVIRO Conference in Brisbane on 26-27 June 2024 to challenge the status quo and talk openly about the need for responsible production and consumption.

“We will be asking what this looks like in Australia and how we accelerate action given we face real climate risk. Across two days the 2024 ENVIRO Conference will explore and discuss the systems thinking required to deliver this shift.”

The program will be spearheaded by keynote addresses on day one from Deloitte’s Partner for Sustainability, Climate and the Circular Economy, Jill Riseley who will take a deep dive into the Circularity Gap Report 2024; the always thought-provoking Dr Richard Denniss, Executive Director of The Australia Institute; and former Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, Dr Hans Bruyninckx.

Day two highlights include a keynote address from the CSIRO’s Naomi Boxall on how Australia can be competitive in the global circular economy and an ‘Around the States’ government panel including NSW EPA CEO Tony Chappel, Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action Circular Economy Policy Director Angela Hoefnagels and Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation Waste Policy and Legislation Director Kylie Hughes.

There are also six specialist sessions covering circular economy insights; built environment; business cases; the regional and remote circular economy; circular economy in practice; and regeneration.

ENVIRO 2024 is being held at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre on 26-27 June 2024. More information including the full program is available here. Registrations close Friday 14 June 2024.

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