Reduce Repair Reuse Recover Recycle – definitely not a waste of time

Our in-house LCA specialist Nana Bortsie-Aryee, originally from Ghana, weighed in on recycled content in building materials for an industry seminar in Brisbane Australia recently.  The event followed a call for public projects to spend a portion of procurement budgets on recycled materials. The event was staged by Global GreenTag International’s new Industry Partner, the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS).

In association with Lend Lease, the SCSS invited an industry audience of property, construction and infrastructure professionals and suppliers to explore circular economy opportunities with specialists who spoke to the topic: Reduce Repair Reuse Recover Recycle – definitely not a waste of time.  The panel discussion followed a recent call by Trevor Evans, the Member for Brisbane and Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management to encourage agreements from Australian state and territory environment ministers for new targets to spend a portion of procurement budgets on recycled materials for public projects.

Nana who is part of the Global GreenTag International Product Assessment team explained how actions to Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recover and Recycle are indeed very much in process by manufacturers whose green product lines have achieved Global GreenTag certifications.  He said:

‘In some cases, we have assessed products that are truly innovative in their design and honour the full lifecycle impacts of product production through to end of life and reuse.  Nonetheless,  within GreenTag’s stringent certification processes, we also need to tick boxes to ensure that products meet fit-for-purpose requirements of the industry as well.  Consequently,  there are many products, which have undergone our certification processes and are readily available for the Australian and global building industries to use in place of business as usual products.”

The specialist panel also included Robert Ball, Senior Development Manager –Communities at Lendlease who presented the Yarrabillba sustainable case study and Hayley Jarick, CEO of SCSS who delivered on the questions of why recycling is in the spotlight and the capacity of industries to respond.  All speakers responded variously to a set of questions that included:

  • Why has this become a ‘burning platform’ that desperately requires action?
  • What resource treasurers are hiding in Australia’s trash?
  • Will this be the boost the domestic commercial market for Australian waste needs to scale up and maximise efficiency?
  • Who in the supply chain is set up to enable hitting these targets and who could be ready soon?

The Supply Chain Sustainability School of Australia provides an online learning forum designed to help Australia’s property, construction and infrastructure sectors to improve their knowledge of broad sustainability issues.

The School represents a collaborative approach to developing environmental, social and economic sustainability competencies through the supply chain. It is a free resource, available to any team, client or supplier working in the construction industry, and is part of a continued commitment to lead the industry into a brighter, more sustainable future.  It is a national, not-for-profit initiative, based on the Supply Chain Sustainability School that operates successfully across the UK.