You can be a responsible business and contribute to a circular economy

By Holly Leach

Ever thought about what happens to your washing machine when it breaks and can’t be fixed? Landfill right? What if there was a way to avoid this…

There is a growing need for brand owners, manufactures and retailers to take responsibility for the products they make through having an end of life option. The government have also signaled intention to make products stewardship mandatory for priority areas.

The Sustainable Business Network along with partners 3R Group, Abilities, Fuji Xerox and Inzide Commercial are embarking on an initiative to help businesses establish product stewardship take back schemes.

But what is product stewardship? We all need to reduce the impacts of products on our environment. When a producer, brand owner, importer, retailer or consumer accepts responsibility for reducing a product’s environmental impact, we call this product stewardship.

We are hosting a series of workshops around the country to provide practical insights to businesses on how to:

  • start to provide their customers with ‘end of life’ solutions
  • reduce waste and return valuable resources back to the business
  • respond to potential law changes around product stewardship
  • contribute to a circular economy

Peter Thomas is managing director of Fuji-Xerox New Zealand, one of the partners in the workshop programme.

He says: “Fuji Xerox will highlight what we’ve learned through our experience, as well as some of the ongoing challenges we face in our product stewardship efforts. We’ll cover how our Ministry for the Environment-accredited product stewardship programme works and has evolved in recent years, and some of the innovative projects we’ve undertaken to find novel uses for waste materials and promote circular economy solutions.”

Steve Aschebrock, Managing Director of product stewardship campaign partner INZIDE Commercial has a simple message for procurers. “As a responsible user/specifier you must always ask what happens at the end of the life of the product. And don’t think that using recycled content is enough – it must be recyclable at the end of its life. Otherwise, in the end it’s really just waste transfer from overseas to NZ landfill.”

If you work for a company who has a product, attend a FREE SBN workshop and start your product stewardship journey.

Register now!

Additionally, if you know of a company that you think should have a take back scheme, email holly@sustainable.org.nz for more info!

Event details:

Auckland: 22 October, 3.00-6.00pm, Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Pl, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1000

Tauranga: 24 October, 3.00-6.00pm, Basestation, 148 Durham St, Tauranga, 3110

Christchurch: 5 November, 3.00-6.00pm, Visions Restaurant, Ara Institute of Canterbury, 130 Madras Street, Christchurch

Dunedin: 6 November, 3.00-6.00pm, University of Otago Business School, 60 Clyde St, North Dunedin, Dunedin 9016

Wellington: 7 November, 3.00-6.00pm, NZ Post, 7 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington 6011

Financial support from this project has been received from the Waste Minimisation Fund administered by the Ministry for the Environment.