gCycle - The World's First Renewable Nappy Solution

gcycle Nappies

Over the last 2 years, I have been privileged to be part of the gCycle journey, developing the world's first  Renewable Nappy solution. 

Created by the founders of gDiapers, Jason and Kim Graham-Nye, gCycle is going to not only disrupt the nappy industry, it will shake the waste industry and the enhance the renewable energy sector. 

Nappies today are a huge waste problem due to the amount (80 million a year in Aus, 3 billion a year in UK and 50 Billion a year in the US), the toxicity, the length of time they take to degrade and the continued growing and ageing population.  

The solution is one where gCycle have redesigned a product into a purely premium and highly desirable resource which initially offers babies a healthy, safe, petrochemical free and super soft experience but then is collected and processed into a variety of renewable resources from compost through to clean energy.

What this nappy can transform into has no limits. Everything we test proves to be successful in regards to generating something valuable and fundamentally the solution its self keeps the nappy out of landfill which is our main objective. Eliminating waste as we know it. 

We are excited to be part of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation Co Project where we are collaborating with a variety of partners in the UK to trial and test the gCycle solution over the coming months. 

If you would like to track our progress and get updates. Join our Renewable Nappy Tribe. 

 

NSW Division Innovation Series - EIANZ, Circular Economy

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The NSW Division presents the second instalment in our Innovation Series: Why the Circular Economy is important to you.

The circular economy is set to transform the way we design, use and reuse products and services. With implications in every facet of our life from our daily laundry habits through to the way we service our clients, understanding what the circular economy means to you and your work is crucial.

Join us to hear from a diverse range of panelists on how they have been contributing to the circular economy through business to business industrial ecology, mining waste and resources, to redesigning business models.

The panel discussion will present an opportunity to generate ideas and develop your journey towards a circular economy.

Our panel includes:

Nils Vesk (Facilitator) - As a pioneering innovation expert, Nils Vesk is continually reinventing ways to make innovation practical, accessible and replicable for everyone. So people can innovate for themselves and their organisations like never before, and no one has to say innovation is too hard. Nils will facilitate the discussion and provide some key insights into how we can innovate around the Circular Economy.

Candice Quartermain - Founder of Circular Economy Australia. Candice seeks to push the nation into innovation superdrive and kick-start traditional businesses into Silicon Valley thinking.

Prof Damien Giurco - Director (Innovation), Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) and leading the Wealth from Waste Cluster ISF, to identify pathways for creating wealth from waste containing metals, including e-waste.

Tom Davies - Director Edge Environment, leading the NSW EPA Circulate program to transform business as usual resource recovery with practical solutions across industry.

Keynote - Stormwater NSW Awards for Excellence

Thank you! You did a wonderful job, it was intriguing and inspiring – and let’s face it, you hooked everyone, because stormwater should be the ultimate in circular economy! We certainly had a lot of conversation at our table afterwards over dinner.

— Rebecca

Stormwater Australia links the diverse and multi-disciplinary interests of all Australian stakeholders of the Stormwater Industry and represents them at all national forums.

Stormwater Australia promotes innovative and sustainable practice technologies, standards and policies that minimise adverse environmental, social and economic impacts. Stormwater Australia also facilitates an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of agencies and partners working to improve the management of our natural and built stormwater systems, provides an advisory and reference service for the industry and promotes the concept that stormwater is a resource.

Upskill to Upcycle, Vivid 2015

‘Upskill to Upcycle’ by Circular Economy Australia

FORGET THE RAT RACE, JOIN THE BEST CASE. 
 
The Circular Economy is generating thousands of new jobs, creating huge investment and designing with a conscience. 
 
Waste is known as an unwanted resource. But is that fair? Perhaps it is simply in need of a creative movement, set to change perception about the way we use, deal, and think about our most common by-products.
In this ‘take, make and throw away’ world, we’re constantly surrounded by stuff and things (and more things and more stuff). Quickly, easily, and without thinking, our casual collections become waste. Whether it be a finished coffee cup, an old phone or an unwanted gift from grandma, our waste runs so rampant in our everyday life, it’s now become invisible.
 
The Circular Economy is flipping waste on its head by presenting new ways to look at use of resources. Instead focusing on regenerative design. ‘Upskill to Upcycle’ brings together leaders of this movement to present their thoughts, innovations and skills to inspire conscious individuals and communities to do the same.
 
Deep dive into a collaborative design challenge showing you the true value of waste like you have never seen it before. 
Get hands-on and crafty with electronics, everyday products, and waste materials!
 
Leave energised, inspired and excited about the future. 
 
This event is for creative thinkers, community makers and social curators. 
 
A trillion dollar future awaits you, book your ticket today. 
 
Highlights Include:
• Thought leaders' panel discussion
• Local makers goody bag
• Access to a future thinking network
• Design prizes

Corporate Waste Solutions - Profile Candice Quartermain, Circular Network

BY MICHELLE DUNNER

Circular Economy Australia founder Candice Quartermain is not short on energy.

A serial entrepreneur, Quartermain is in the throes of developing and crowdfunding a new business aimed at promoting healthy nutrition for children, running a Sydney advertising and design agency, writing books and encouraging innovation at every turn – all while awaiting the birth of her son, as this issue of CWS went to press.

An in-demand speaker on the circular economy, Quartermain has a mission to create ever-increasing networks that embrace the widest possible cross-section of the business community. For her, it’s all about driving “resourcefulness”.

“To me, Utopia would be getting businesses to understand the value of resourcefulness and start driving towards greater efficiencies. We need to encourage new ways of thinking and empower businesses and their staff to go on that journey.

“We’ve got to move away from the old Industrial Revolution way of thinking, which is ‘dig something up, make something, throw it away’. The only way to battle that, to ensure what we take out of the ground becomes products that can be continually reused and provide the same level of value and that has to be a business-led solution.”

Originally from the UK, Quartermain arrived in Sydney in 2010, having already cemented her entrepreneurial credentials.

“I actually started out at 21 with my first events company. It was all about delivering extreme sports events – skateboarding, wakeboarding, surfing and skiing. It just reflected the things I really enjoyed. I loved the outdoor way of life.

“And then I got approached by someone working in the mobile industry. Mind you, this was before the first iPhone and when this guy told me mobile was going to be the next big thing, I pretty much laughed. But then his assistant sent me a load of reports and I became very intrigued.

“That’s where I fell into the innovation space and my eyes were opened to how technology could help us drive solutions. I was talking to people about how ‘one day’ they’d be buying cinema tickets through their phone or navigate to a location. They thought I was crazy, given most of them were still trying to get their head around how to text at the time.”

The experience also taught Quartermain about the need for good design. “I saw how important a factor it was in being able to facilitate solutions and that led me to work in design and marketing agencies. At the same time, I still had my businesses on the side. One of the things I did was run pole-dancing and burlesque courses for women and the impact on a lot of them was incredible. They’d come to me to tell me about how their confidence had soared, that they were prepared to try new things.

“At Circular Economy Australia we keep a ‘tossery glossary’, which has around 30 words in it, including ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ that we simply choose not to use as part of our branding or in positioning ourselves. It’s not that those concepts aren’t important, but we prefer to focus on identifying the values and how they can be applied to create positive changes for us all – that also has economic benefit.

“I’d always been a bit of a project manager, but understanding the humanistic elements was a real turning point. I saw technology enabling design, design thinking being explored and all with recourse to people’s needs and what they wanted to be getting out of life. It opened me up to consider behavioural factors.”

Another watershed moment came after moving to Sydney. “I was working crazy hours in a tough, ruthless environment. One night I was working on a brief on how to sell a particular product to a teenage demographic and failing miserably.

“I started reading the ingredients on the back of the packaging and did some Googling. Everything that came up was carcinogenic, toxic; there were lawsuits in the US. It really got to me. How could I be so passionate about my work when this product I was trying to persuade a young audience to buy could potentially cause negative effects on their health? I had to shift gear.”

It led Quartermain to investigate companies that were aligned with her values. “I wanted to work with people and on projects that were creating a positive behaviour change, rather than just try to sell something.”

She found herself at agency Digital Eskimo. “It was like finding my tribe. I learned so much about what you can do with design and how design thinking can result in positive social change and add so much more value and wealth. It was the point [at which] I discovered the circular economy.”

We’ve been greenwashed
Promoting circular economy principles is a business concept rather than a green initiative, Quartermain says. “No one really knows what ‘green’ is. The concept has been pushed and pulled in so many directions.

“At Circular Economy Australia we keep a ‘tossery glossary’, which has around 30 words in it, including ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ that we simply choose not to use as part of our branding or in positioning ourselves. It’s not that those concepts aren’t important, but we prefer to focus on identifying the values and how they can be applied to create positive changes for us all – that also has economic benefit.

“This is the world we live in – we constantly ask ourselves, ‘what is the business case?’, ‘how are we going to make money from it?’, ‘how are we going to be profitable’? That is the number one driver of genuine change – and interest, and uptake, and momentum.

“The principles of the circular economy give me something I can take to a boardroom. I can go to a CEO and talk about a viable business opportunity and identify the knock-on benefits – the social positivity, the improved ability to collaborate, the greater transparency with your staff, your suppliers, your customers. You’re going to generate outcomes using these principles that make great stories for your business.”

Personal heroes
Quartermain cites US architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart as key sources of inspiration. “Their book Cradle to Cradle really opened up my eyes; I thought their way of thinking was absolutely revolutionary. (Systems theorist) Buckminster Fuller is another fascinating person.

“For me it’s about thinkers who not only can see things differently, but also create. I’m heavily dyslexic; I have the reading and spelling ability of a 12-year-old, so I never really fitted into the traditional education system.

“Being exposed to these thinkers was a shift – it told me you can solve problems and create value by leveraging your imagination. My whole world opened up and it was very empowering.”

Quartermain says she’s also developed some exceptional international and Australian networks, including with the noted UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which has a mission of bringing business, government and academia together to build a restorative and regenerative economy.

Purpose 2015 - More from Less

More From Less The World Economic Forum estimates the circular economy to be worth $1 trillion worldwide and $26 billion in Australia by 2025. 

Get to know some of the leaders in regenerative business and the circular economy. 

Candice Quartermain - Founder & Program Director, Circular Economy Australia (Facilitator). Malcolm Rands - Founder & CEO, ecostore. Jason & Kim Graham-Nye - Co-founders, G Diapers. Clinton Squires - Managing Director & Senior Vice President Aust & NZ,


About Purpose

It’s 2015 and the future belongs to businesses with purpose.

The kind of purpose that’s baked into the business model, from the kind of companies that solve problems, rather than create them. We’re about businesses with a healthy bottom line and a healthy perspective on what the world actually needs.

Purpose is the coming together of purpose-driven people. It’s by application only and over two days you’ll get to meet, learn from and be inspired by the best in the industry. The people who are doing good and doing it incredibly well.

We’re going to talk about reinventing business models, shifting corporate cultures and rewriting the role of brands and organisations to be purpose driven. This is the event for connecting, meeting and learning from like minded people. 

Presented by Wildwon

Shaping our City: Collaborative Sydney

On Oct 1st, we heard from a diverse group of panellists who considered the opportunities within the collaborative economy. They discussed perspectives and opportunities across resources, transportation, food generation, human-centric design and the future of workplaces.

Event Overview 

The collaborative economy is a revolution, one being felt beyond the confines of the industries it disrupts. It is redefining consumption, styles of work, and ideas of community and ownership.

Our panel, featuring Candice Quartermain, Founder of Circular Economy Australia, Will Davies, CEO of Car Next Door, Max Wilson, General Manager of Corporate Solutions, Mirvac, Harry Quartermain from 2000 Acres and more, will consider perspectives from development, planning, government, and business.

Our panel, featuring Candice Quartermain, Founder of Circular Economy AustraliaWill Davies, CEO of Car Next DoorMax Wilson, General Manager of Corporate Solutions, MirvacHarry Quartermain from 2000 Acres and more, will consider perspectives from development, planning, government, and business.

Please join us as we discuss how the collaborative economy will change Sydney, now and into the future.

Circular economy to become $26bn industry in Australia by 2025: World Economic Forum

Throwaways are out: Advocates for the "circular economy" say the future of economic growth is in recycling, re-using and re-purposing goods and resources.

By Mark White

 

A Danish company rents baby clothes for the first year of their life. Google's Project Ara is a modular smartphone, with features that can be upgraded separately. A trial of 99 per cent recycled asphalt is underway in Boroondara, Victoria.

These are all examples of the circular economy, an approach to business which could be vital for our future prosperity.

The idea of a circular model is once it's out of the ground it keeps circulating. 

James Moody, entrepreneur.

Anyone who lived through the Depression will recognise the ideas behind it: recycling, re-using and re-purposing everything possible. It's being revived in a world that will see an extra three billion middle-class consumers by 2050 while resources diminish and the G7 begins the transition to a no-carbon economy.

The difference from the 1930s is that economic growth can still happen despite fewer resources being consumed, with innovation and technology squaring the circle. The aim is to produce "cradle to cradle" goods designed so they can have a second life – and maybe even a third and fourth. Waste from one manufacturing process could be raw material for another, for example.

"We've always had a very linear model," says entrepreneur James Moody, a panellist on the ABC's The New Inventors show. "We dig it out of the ground, turn it into something, consume it and stick it back in the ground [as landfill]. The idea of a circular model is once it's out of the ground it keeps circulating."

The World Economic Forum estimates the circular economy could be worth $1 trillion worldwide and $26 billion in Australia by 2025. Doing more with less would bring more wealth and jobs, less landfill, resource depletion and environmental damage. Can we afford not to join the virtuous circle?

UTS's Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) co-hosted the World Resources Forum Asia-Pacific's recent 'Wealth from Waste' event, and has issued an action agenda. "We're careful not to brand it under a green umbrella," says the ISF's Damien Giurco. "We need to engage business to say this is an economic opportunity … sometimes business thinks environment equals cost and regulation, but a lot of the rest of the world's just getting on with making more money, which is a win win." Consulting firm Accenture has identified five business models driving the circular economy: circular supplies (including renewable energy); resource recovery; extending product life; "sharing" platforms; and offering products as a service.

But what would a circular economy look like? Giurco offers a cafe owner taking empty milk cartons – a resource – over the road to be fed into a 3D printer to produce bespoke tea cups they can sell the next day. Carpet company Dessoand electronics giant Philips are releasing a light-emitting carpet, combining signage and furnishings. Aussie firm Interface uses discarded fishing line from the Phillippines for its Net Effect carpet range. H&MNike and Puma are using plastics and polyesters for clothing lines.

Candice Quartermain, the founder of business network Circular Economy Australia, sees it enabling access to goods which wouldn't otherwise be possible – such as taking a cheaper Uber instead of a registered taxi. The outcomes will "allow us to be, on average, wealthier or more diverse in what we can earn and how we can work".

Moody, whose company Sendle uses spare courier capacity to deliver parcels door-to-door across Australia as if they were catching buses across a network, says, "We'll have a lot better services, things will get cheaper… even better, more affordable. You'll have access to a car when you need it because you're sharing it with neighbours." One idea is to turn goods into services. "I don't need to own an air-conditioner, I just want hot or cold air," he says. Instead of buying a washing machine, you could lease it – meaning the company would have an incentive to build something which lasted more than a few years before breaking down.

Moody even thinks there doesn't need a big cultural shift for people to hire instead of buy cars. But new research from the UK's Nottingham Trent University suggests people are culturally programmed to own goods. "The problem at the moment is that the whole renting market is about appealing to a very narrow segment – people who can't afford to buy, who aren't credit worthy, paying ridiculous prices," co-researcher Professor Tim Cooper told The Independent. "No one in their right mind will rent unless they have to. So the market's got to be transformed [from businesses relying on selling replacements to make money]".

Rob Pascoe is MD of Closed Loop Australia, which advises companies like Qantas and KFC on reducing waste. "To be sustainable you must make money," he says. "The reason we can do it … is that waste is a resource. Waste going to landfill is a failure of a system." He says a circular approach is a "fundamentally different way of thinking" — designing what the waste will consist of and then taking it back, rather than just accepting it will happen. Pascoe likens it to his gran washing out the milk bottles – now they cut the cartons into little bits, wash them and remould them, but the concept's the same.

There is machinery in five of the world's top 20 restaurants, including the best, Noma, in Copenhagen, which turn organic waste into fertiliser. "You can improve revenue streams just as you can improve the cost base by not wasting resources." An EU report estimates every 1 per cent increase in resource efficiency in the continent is worth up to $33bn and can create 200,000 jobs. Dismantling rubbish is already bringing dividends for social enterprises such as Mission Australia's (MA) Soft Landing NSW mattress recycling program.

It began in 2009, when people started dumping unwanted mattresses in the MA clothing bins following the introduction of a dump gate fee. They saw a business opportunity in the steel, and set up a recycling plant the year after with a grant.

Since then 300 people have found full-time work extracting the steel (which is pressed and sold on), timber (helps build toys), foam (carpet underlay) and textile (used for their punching bags business). They returned $19 for each initial seed funding dollar, and report a $3 social return on each dollar invested – measured in terms of creating jobs for their workers, many of whom face barriers to getting work such as criminal records or mental health issues.

"The greatest thing about the program is you can't pull a mattress apart the wrong way," says MA's Bill Dibley. "You can do it the fast way or the hard way but you'll pull it apart. Most of the people we deal with have had negative reinforcement most of their life, this straightaway gave positive reinforcement because they achieved their goal."

John Weate, founder of Tuncurry's Resource Recycling, turned one job on a $50,000 contract into 30 jobs for Aboriginal men and $2m turnover per year. "Our focus is helping them out of prison so they don't return but get jobs and skills," he says. Workers sort and recover materials from waste streams in the shire, and the model has been replicated in Gladstone, Queensland, with 22 jobs.

On the NSW south coast their partners Green Connect have given 112 refugees their first chance in the Australian labour market in less than a year. They pick up bulk waste from the shire twice a year: 250 tonnes of metal, worth $26,000, plus repurposing and reselling goods, worth $120,000 a year, and another $60,000 on discarded building materials. Imagine scaling that up across the country.

Monash University's Dr Ruth Lane is studying the logistics of collecting e-waste. Processing is only profitable for big business, but not for households. There's more gold in a kilogram of mobile phones than gold-containing ore, but the issue is how to get those phones to processing efficiently – as well as extracting the value here, and not sending them overseas.

She says, "There may be some new technologies on the horizon that will allow us to a certain level of reprocessing at a smaller scale and take a plant to where the source is … there's a lot of possibilities on the horizon."

The CSIRO's Dr Heinz Schandl says his data shows that Australia has been focused on short-term gains from the "extractive economy" instead of planning for the opportunities offered by the circular economy. Manufacturing would need to be "rebuilt in the domains of renewable energy, green products and eco-efficient production", with a "large-scale reskilling" of many workers resulting in many new jobs opening up. "To achieve a circular economy will require leadership that is focused on the long-term which often missing," he says.

There are other bumps in the road. Uber uses cars more efficiently and is cheaper than registered taxis, but pushes the cost of business on to the drivers. ISF's action agenda calls for renewable energy to help with the circular economy's energy inputs, but it seems an uphill battle given Prime Minister Tony Abbott's notorious disdain for the sector and love of coal.

"This is a $26bn opportunity by 2025," adds Quartermain. "If you're not getting your ducks in a row right now to maximise on that opportunity, you're going to miss out."

BIG NUMBERS

US$1 trillion – WEF estimate of global material cost savings of a circular economy by 2025

$26 billon – local cost savings of the same by 2025 $70bn – material value of global e-waste in 2014

$9.3 billion – additional value to Australian business of using a collaborative economy

$6 billion – metal contained in waste streams in Australia per year, equivalent to half of all metal consumed

Reference: http://www.smh.com.au/national/circular-economy-to-become-26bn-industry-in-australia-by-2025-world-economic-forum-20150704-gi19n3.html