Over the past two years, Australian company Wesfarmers has worked to develop circular economy strategies with the aim of reducing the use of raw (or virgin or natural) material inputs and energy.
Wesfarmers has driven the circular economy by manufacturing products and using materials more efficiently (including through increased use of recycled materials or recyclable materials) and preventing waste through reuse or repurposing where possible.
The circular economy requires collaboration across the supply chain, government and industry to achieve systemic change.
While the transition to a circular economy is not something that can be achieved overnight, Wesfarmers’ divisions are making progress in the way they reuse waste at various stages of the product life cycle. Some cases of their strategy, across their various businesses, are as follows.
Kmart is making changes by sourcing and incorporating more recycled materials in active, coat, denim, swim, footwear and bedding ranges.
This helps reduce reliance on raw material (or virgin fibers) and creates demand for recycled materials that would otherwise go to landfill.
Also Kmart Group is working to find ways to reuse waste generated in garment production through its participation in Circular Fashion Partnership, a cross-sector project led by Global Fashion Agenda, with Reverse Resources, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and P4G, to develop long-term, scalable solutions for capturing and reusing post-production textile waste.
Officeworks’ circular economy commitments include becoming a zero-waste business by designing and maximizing recycling, ensuring that the packaging of all products it sells is reusable or recyclable, and helping customers dispose of products responsibly at the end of their life cycle.
Finally, Bunnings began its journey to capture packaging and product data to understand material flow and where it can have the greatest impact.