Post by :


Will Australia Embrace the Circular Revolution?

Will Australia Embrace the Circular Revolution?

Illustrated By: Marsha

Written by:

Khushnoor Dhaliwal

Murdoch University

CWTS-ACICIS Intern (January-February 2022)

Businesses and governments in Australia are recognising the potential waste materials give and the economic worth they maintain and are working towards a circular economy. This trend can be seen across the world, especially in the European Union, Canada, and Australia's main trading partners, such as China. The 2018 National Waste Policy establishes a framework for corporations, governments, communities, and individuals to work together until 2030. The government has done a commendable job of implementing measures such as phase out of superfluous plastics, increasing recycling through purchasing power, and boosting waste collecting statistics and information sharing to promote transparency. This policy specifically promotes Australia's participation in UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production. It also plays a vital role in ensuring Australia fulfils its international duties. Although The National Waste Policy sets forth an effective, efficient, and achievable action plan, the challenge lies in convincing the private sector to undertake transformation and implement reform. There is a slight reluctance from the private sector because developing a circular business model is difficult and making the incorrect decision can be costly.

The National Waste Policy of 2009 outlined the following goals and strategies: Less waste, more resources have been instrumental in improving waste management, introducing products and resource stewardship, and creating national reporting of national waste and resource recovery statistics to drive policy and choices. The 2018 National Waste Strategy improves on the 2009 policy by emphasising waste prevention, enhanced material recovery, and the reuse of recovered resources. It lays forth a shared view of what should be prioritised in response to shifting worldwide trash markets. It will assist Australia in moving closer to a circular economy, which decreases waste while also improving economic, social, and environmental results. It will aid in the expansion of resource recycling systems and the re-establishment of Australian trust. While Australian businesses recognise the necessity of transitioning to a circular economy, many are hesitant to take the required measures to enact reform.

According to the second edition of the Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACE Hub)'s annual Circularity in Australian Corporate survey, an overwhelming 88 percent of business decision makers think that the circular economy will be crucial for their company's future, with 34% saying it is highly significant. The study, titled Circularity in Australian Business 2021: Awareness, Knowledge, and Perceptions, assesses how well Australian firms understand and apply the circular economy. The report draws on the findings of the first edition of the study, which was published in 2020 and assessed the level of circular economy thinking in Australia's corporate community.

The research demonstrates a disconnect between what people think they know about the circular economy and what they actually know. 81 percent of company decision-makers claimed they were familiar with the circular economy idea. However, when given a selection of possibilities, just 27% were able to properly identify the meaning of circular economy. This points to a knowledge gap that must be filled via education and engagement, which the ACE Hub can help with.

The Circularity in Australian Businesses report of 2021 also conducts in-depth interviews with 14 C-suite executives and surveys of 500 company decision makers from a variety of industries were used to develop insights from the study technique, which combined qualitative and quantitative data. The report finds that:

  • Circular economy is something that 92 percent of company decision makers have heard of and are familiar with.
  • According to the report, 88 percent of corporate decision makers believe the circular economy will be critical to their company's future success. The 2020 survey yielded the same results.
  • From 21 percent in 2020 to 34 percent in 2021, the proportion of company decision makers who felt the circular economy will be "very essential" climbed dramatically.
  • 'Reducing expenses' was the most often mentioned benefit of the circular economy (selected by 42 percent of business decision makers).
  • 'Lack of information on how to apply circular economy principles' was the most prevalent barrier to the circular economy found (selected by 40 percent of business decision makers). This emphasises the importance of information services like the Internet.

The private sector is concerned with increasing its revenue. The public sector, on the other hand, tries to increase the people's nett social welfare. This misalignment of goals is a fundamental issue that must be resolved if we are to properly adopt this relatively new notion in the future. Many businesses are just not devoting enough resources to figuring out how to create and implement a circular business model.

Despite the general reluctance from most organisations, there are a few key actors who have succeeded in developing and executing a circular business model. They serve as a beacon of hope, paving the path for others to follow in their footsteps. So, who are they?

The first is BINGO. This company transforms waste into a useful resource. Through their advanced recycling centres, they keep garbage out of landfills. To improve recovery rates, they invest in innovative technologies and process materials for re-use and re-sale. This is healthy for the environment as well as for businesses. Much like the 2018 Waste Policy BINGO has matched its sustainability goals with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. By aligning their approach with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, they’re dedicated to examining climate risks and possibilities. They are also researching solar energy for our recycling centres and evaluating alternate fuels for our truck fleets, as well as building Recycling Ecology Park in Sydney's Eastern Creek. They want to achieve diversion rates of more than 75%. This will be accomplished by increasing resource recovery by investing in innovative separation technologies (Bingo Industries 2021).

The second major player is Planet Ark Power. This company is a partner of Planet Ark, it is a renewable energy engineering and technology firm. Their mission is “to unite people businesses and governments through positive environmental change”. This is similar to the objectives of the 2018 Waste Policy’s objectives. Planet Ark Power provides innovative technology and large-scale rooftop solar to companies and schools, they are working towards accelerating Australia's shift to renewable energy sources. They have already began transforming IKEA Adelaide into a grid-connected, sustainable energy microgrid with their award-winning “eleXsys” Energy Management System. Planet Ark Power's goal is to provide their clients with the most cost-effective, high-performing, and dependable sustainable energy solutions possible. Clean energy solutions that produce measurable energy and cost savings while also assisting their clients in meeting their sustainability goals during the system's lifetime (Planet Ark 2021).

In Australia, the concept of a circular economy is gaining traction. Florin et al., (2015) found that the advantages of circularising Australia's economy were predicted to be worth AU$26 billion per year, with an overall additional value for Australian businesses of AU$9.3 billion. Despite the benefits, private businesses are hesitant to make the move due to the high degree of risk associated during the implementation phase. The potential of a circular economy has been recognised by the public sector. The government has introduced measures such as the 2018 Waste Policy and has allocated $80 million in the Federal Budget for 2021 to the waste and resource recovery business. Will this, however, be enough for the private sector to overcome their reservations and transform these projections into a circular revolution?

Circular economy is making women’s work, work for women

Circular economy is making women’s work, work for women

Ilustrasi Oleh: Marsha

Written by:

Hannah Dayman

Deakin University

CWTS UGM-ACICIS Intern (January – February 2022)

The implementation of circular economy principles in countries around the world is as recent as it is varied, with states working alongside international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to encourage the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Circular economy (CE) and its influence on social development is a relatively new area of research, particularly regarding the relationship between CE and gender equity. The OECD has released research and frameworks on areas where the implementation of CE may affect and increase gender equity. The 2019 OECD report on CE and gender highlights areas of environmental degradation, the globalised fashion industry, waste management, and women's consumer patterns as critical components that will be affected where CE policy is implemented. A common trend in the gender analysis applied by organisations of the global North is a lack of differentiation between women from different socio-political and cultural backgrounds. The OECD undertook studies of gendered patterns from developed and developing countries; however, there was little emphasis regarding how women's socio-economic circumstances would reap different results and how this reflects in local governmental policy. The one-size-fits-all approach fails to provide much needed context when seeking to implement policy or commit resource allocation to grassroots initiatives and programs that empower the individual. This article aims to deconstruct how international organisations, such as the OECD, understand the relationship between CE and gender, using Indonesia as a representative case study for CE's application in developing countries and Australia as a case study for developed countries.

The concept of environmental sustainability has been a rapidly growing movement since the 1960s and '70s. However, the Australian government did not integrate the CE framework until the 2018 National Waste Policy. Since then, think tanks such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO) have been tasked with investigating the benefits of CE in an Australian context. Australia's environmental and economic sustainability journey is seemingly in its research and discovery phase. Without a strong push from policymakers and government ministers, corporations have little incentive to adopt the framework themselves. Even though many international organisations and Australian-led think-tanks have proved CE to benefit business owners and consumers both fiscally and environmentally, corporate hesitation derives from a lack of information, understanding, and 'top-down' incentives. As a result, most efforts toward CE in Australia have been made by investors and consumers.

Women, in particular, have been progressing the CE movement in extraordinary ways. Generally, women as consumers are a powerful influence and statistically inclined to be the group most responsible for small, frequent household purchases, and having a high literacy regarding eco-branded product labels. While women are not the only members of Australian society that are using their purchasing power to direct companies to adopt a CE method of practice, they are further involved in several initiatives to educate consumers and change Australian industries. For example, 2018 saw the inaugural Australia Circular Fashion Conference that covers 'advocacy and awareness towards consumer change management'. Furthermore, the South Australian government have implemented the 'Women in Circular Economy Leadership Awards', selecting one woman each year to represent CE in action through education efforts and environmentally sustainable management practices. According to the OECD report, these examples demonstrate gender-specific consumption patterns and the active promotion of women's role in CE.

In addition to consumer power driving corporations into greener economic practices, the adoption of CE in Indonesia affects women as producers and informal, unpaid workers. This is primarily due to poor working conditions and exposure to toxic pollutants that are the by-product of the work women typically undertake. While Indonesia has gained momentum in its transition into a green economy, policymakers are yet to give necessary weight to women-focused programs and initiatives within the scope of CE. A 2021 report led by Kementerian PPN Bappenas and the Danish Embassy highlighted Indonesia's vital economic sectors that would best suit CE implementation. The OECD report was cited within the analysis, indicating women are the most likely to benefit from CE in Indonesia. Among the reasons for this is greater access for women to formal, green jobs creating financial security, less exposure to dangerous chemicals used in work practices, or from plastic burning in waste management. The report stated that women are likely to fill up to 75 per cent of the potential green jobs available through CE. Similarly to Australia, however, policymakers fail to give appropriate credence to the connection between CE and gender equity. The United Nations (UN) SDGs Roadmap for Indonesia, CE, is listed as a recommendation for Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), with no mention of the potential impacts CE has on Goal 5 (gender parity and women's empowerment).

Grassroots programs in Indonesia have identified the beneficial relationship between CE and gender. There are several programs that have been identified in the greater Jakarta region by a 2018 study. Examples include the Gerakan Indonesia Kantong Plastik (Indonesia's Plastic Bag Diet Movement), Waste4Change – which provides corporations, communities, and individuals consultancy and support in green waste management, and SiDalang – which provides ‘training on upcycling and business development to local women'. Grassroots organisations and SMEs are ostensibly driving the force behind Indonesia's acceptance and future with a CE through their prioritising waste management and the re/up-cycling of waste resources. Results of women participating in these upcycling training and social enterprise programs demonstrate the benefits the OECD report highlighted. This includes improved life skills and the ability to experience and explore entrepreneurship, thus improving overall welfare.

While the connection between CE and gender equity has been established and investigated by international organisations and states alike, further prioritisation must be placed on supporting organisations and programs that facilitate and encourage the relationship. The contrast between CE influence on women in Australia and Indonesia is evident. The OECD report is comprehensive insofar as it identifies how women are affected by CE and how women globally work, consume, and influence. For example, women in higher socio-economic positions can be involved in CE through their consumer power; by influencing corporations and businesses to implement greener production processes. Equally, women who work in unsafe conditions due to the linear economy will benefit from the incorporation of circular practices that will provide better jobs, financial stability, and enhanced overall wellbeing. The OECD report and consequential research aiming to understand the connection between CE and gender is the first step to a green future. However, further advocacy is needed to establish a specific, local policy that centres on women as crucial actors in CE, considering individuals' strengths and limitations based on socio-economic and cultural standpoints.

Africa-Indonesia Trade Relations: Current Status, Strategic Issues, and Future Trajectories

Africa-Indonesia Trade Relations: Current Status, Strategic Issues, and Future Trajectories

Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (CWTS UGM) held an international web seminar on Wednesday (12/8/21), titled "Africa-Indonesia Trade Relations: Current Status, Strategic Issues, and Future Trajectories". This webinar was organized by Indo-Africa Centre UGM in collaboration with CWTS UGM to discuss the trade relations between African countries and Indonesia based on the current development of each countries’ trade, investment, and labour capabilities, the appropriate strategies to sustain the relations, as well as the future of each countries’ trade relations based on the agreements that have been made.

The event was officially opened by Dr. Ika Dewi Ana as Vice Rector for Research and Community Service of UGM and Prof. Frednard Gideon as Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at University of Namibia. This webinar was attended by two ambassadors of Indonesia for African countries, namely Mr. H.E Ambassador Al Busyra Basnur (Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the African Union) and Mr. H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin (Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Somalia, UNEP and UN-HABITAT in Nairobi). In addition to the Indonesian speakers, this webinar also invited two speakers to deliver the African countries’ perspective on Africa-Indonesia trade relations, namely Dr. Jacob M. Nyambe (Executive Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Management and Law, University of Namibia) and Prof. Dr. Azzedine Ghoufrane (Dean and Chair-holder of WTO Chairs Programme at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences, the Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco).

There were two discussion sessions in this webinar, starting with the topic of the current status and strategic issues of Africa-Indonesia trade relations followed by the second session about the opportunities and future trajectory of Africa-Indonesia trade relations. Moderated by Siti Daulah Khoiriati, MA, the first discussion session with Mr. H.E. Ambassador Al Busyra and Dr. Jacob M. Nyambe discussed Indonesia's priorities in Africa, especially Ethiopia, in strengthening economic diplomacy, protecting citizens, and maintaining protection along with technical issues in bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Africa, especially in Namibia. 

In the second session moderated by Dr. Maharani Hapsari, Prof. Dr. Azzedine Ghoufrane and Mr. H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin gave interesting insights on Africa-Indonesia trade opportunities and barriers, respectively from the perspective of Morocco/North Africa and Indonesia. In addition to focusing on various domestic economic capabilities, both agreed that institutional reform can be initiated by not only seeing the backwardness of partner countries.

The webinar was officially closed by Dr. Riza Noer Arfani as the Director of CWTS UGM and Chair-holder of the WTO Chairs Programme of CWTS UGM. Dr. Riza stated that discussions like this are very important to strengthen the development of research and curriculum on African-Indonesian trade relations. Dr. Riza also hoped that representatives of the Embassy, the Minister of Trade, and other colleagues from Morocco, Namibia, and Ethiopia could attend and exchange knowledge at the next opportunity.

Commitment to Promote Circular Economy in Developing Countries Re-emphasised on The Closing Session of The International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy, and Sustainability

CWTS UGM: International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability 21-22 September 2021

The International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability held by the Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (CWTS UGM) was officially closed on Wednesday (22/9/21). The workshop ended with presentations by Maria Josefina Figueroa from Copenhagen Business School and Dr. Rainer Lanz from the Trade and Environment Division of the WTO, followed by a discussion session. In her presentation titled “Circular Economy International and Climate Change Perspectives,” Figueroa raised a question regarding how the circular economy can contribute to a systemic transformational change for climate. It is said that the circular economy has the potential to induce climate change transformation, but it is still weak in practice. There are various definitions of the circular economy that result in different understandings and applications. Therefore, the contribution of circular strategies in mitigating climate change is not well understood yet.

Creating policies at the micro, meso, and macro level is essential to advance the circular economy for climate transformation goals. To achieve the goals, all actors should be able to access more knowledge and gain more ability to implement the change. In addition, decision makers need to support the development of new technologies and the creation of markets for materials and products with low emission. To minimize the climate impact,  the focus on rethinking, reducing and reusing materials must persist.

Dr. Rainer Lanz identified some challenges in advancing the circular economy in his presentation. Some of the challenges are the definition, classification, standards, and regulations for cooperation, technology, areas of priorities, and facilitation of trade in services to promote circular and inclusive economic transformation. Several solutions to overcome this problem include transparency and policy discussion, peer review, negotiation, capacity building for more efficient and safe trade.

The workshop officially closed by the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Muhammad Lutfi, and the Head of Division of Knowledge and Information Management, Academic Outreach and the WTO Chairs Programme, Werner Zdouc. In his closing remarks, Lutfi said that there are at least three trading trends that will occur in the near future, namely transparency, collaboration and sustainability. Transparency will mark the trends and collaboration among institutions  will be required in order to create value. In addition, sustainability is also something that must be embraced, changed, and done. Werner Zdouc later re-emphasized the importance of collaboration and dialogue between stakeholders in Indonesia to promote  the circular economy transition both at the local and national level.

CWTS UGM: International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability 21-22 September 2021

Komitmen Mendorong Ekonomi Sirkular di Negara Berkembang Ditegaskan Kembali pada Penutupan Lokakarya Kebijakan Internasional tentang Perdagangan, Ekonomi Sirkular, dan Keberlanjutan

Rangkaian lokakarya yang diadakan oleh PSPD UGM resmi ditutup pada Rabu (22/9/21). Lokakarya diakhiri dengan sesi diskusi yang diinisiasi oleh presentasi yang disampaikan Maria Josefina Figueroa dari Copenhagen Business School dan Dr. Rainer Lanz dari Divisi Perdagangan dan Lingkungan WTO. Dalam presentasi yang berjudul “Circular Economy International and Climate Change Perspectives”, Maria mengangkat pertanyaan pemantik mengenai apakah ekonomi sirkular dapat berkontribusi pada transformasi sistematis untuk perubahan iklim. Ia menyampaikan bahwa ekonomi sirkular memiliki potensi untuk berkontribusi pada transformasi perubahan iklim, namun dalam prakteknya masih lemah. Hal ini disebabkan oleh definisi ekonomi sirkular yang berbeda-beda sehingga penerapannya muncul dalam pengaturan yang berbeda pula. Oleh karena itu, peluang kontribusi strategi ekonomi sirkular dalam memitigasi perubahan iklim kurang dapat dipahami.

Pembuatan kebijakan di level mikro, meso, dan makro adalah salah satu cara penting untuk membantu memajukan ekonomi sirkular dalam proses transformasi iklim. Untuk mencapai hal tersebut, dibutuhkan peningkatan pengetahuan dan kemampuan seluruh aktor. Peningkatan ini perlu dibantu integrasi antara kebijakan energi dan iklim dengan praktik sirkularitas dan efisiensi penggunaan material oleh industri berbasis indikator pemantauan. Selain itu, pengambil keputusan perlu mendukung pengembangan teknologi, solusi baru serta penciptaan pasar untuk bahan dan produk rendah emisi. Untuk menjaga agar dampak perubahan iklim tetap rendah, fokus pada rethink, reduce dan reuse harus tetap dijalankan.

Dr. Rainer Lanz dalam presentasinya menambahkan beberapa tantangan yang berhasil diidentifikasi untuk memajukan ekonomi sirkular, diantaranya tantangan mengenai definisi dan klasifikasi, standar dan regulasi kerjasama, teknologi, fasilitasi perdagangan jasa guna mendorong sirkularitas dan area yang menjadi prioritas untuk transformasi ekonomi yang inklusif. Beberapa solusi untuk mengatasi hal tersebut meliputi transparansi dan diskusi kebijakan, peer review, negosiasi, pengembangan kapasitas untuk perdagangan yang lebih efisien dan aman.

Lokakarya ini secara resmi ditutup oleh Menteri Perdagangan Republik Indonesia, Muhammad Lutfi, dan Kepala Divisi Manajemen Informasi dan Pengetahuan, Penjangkauan Akademik dan WTO Chairs Programme, Werner Zdouc. Dalam pidato penutup nya, Lutfi menyampaikan keberadaan dari tiga tren perdagangan yang akan terjadi dalam waktu dekat, yakni transparansi, kolaborasi dan keberlanjutan. Transparansi akan menandai tren perdagangan dan kolaborasi menjadi hal yang harus dijalankan untuk bersama-sama menciptakan nilai. Selain itu, keberlanjutan juga menjadi sesuatu yang harus dirangkul, diubah dan dilakukan. Werner Zdouc lantas menekankan kembali pentingnya kolaborasi dan dialog antar pemangku kepentingan di Indonesia untuk memajukan ekonomi sirkular baik di level lokal maupun nasional.

From Agribusiness to Electronics Industry: Panel Discussion on Circular Economy in Various Sectors on the International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability

CWTS UGM: International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability 21-22 September 2021

The growth of the manufacturing industry and the expansion of multinational companies have catalyzed the economic growth, but it has also resulted in serious environmental problems due to its linear economy model. The linear economy is characterized by the “take-make-dispose” behaviour, which refers to the exploitation of finite natural resources to produce goods that will be thrown away after its usage. This causes various problems, including overflowing landfills and natural resources scarcity. The circular economy system wants to change the traditional production and consumption pattern by separating economic growth from the exploitation of finite natural resources, which can be achieved by offering a regenerative economic design where resources are reused, reproduced, and recycled.

read more

CWTS UGM Conducted Opening Talk Show Session and Launched Brand New Podcast on The International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability

CWTS UGM Conducted Opening Talk Show Session and Launched Brand New Podcast on The International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability 21-22 September 2021

Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (CWTS UGM) held the “International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability: Forging Knowledge Co-Production on International Trade and Circular Economy Linkages in Developing Countries” virtually on Tuesday (21/9/21) and Wednesday (22/9/21). This workshop brought together researchers with fellow researchers, practitioners, policymakers, students, and the general public to encourage initiatives and policies for circular economy development in developing countries. The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Riza Noer Arfani as the Director of CWTS UGM and drg. Ika Dewi Ana, Ph.D as the Vice-Rector of Universitas Gadjah Mada. Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang from the Deputy Director-General of the WTO and H.E. Monique T.G. Van Daalen as the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the WTO also expressed their support for the workshop in their welcoming remarks.

read more

The International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability by CWTS UGM

The International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability by CWTS UGM 21-22 September 2021

Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (CWTS UGM) held the “International Policy Workshop on Trade, Circular Economy and Sustainability: Forging Knowledge Co-Production on International Trade and Circular Economy Linkages in Developing Countries” virtually on Tuesday (21/9/21) and Wednesday (22/9/21). This workshop was organised by CWTS UGM in collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Chairs Programme and the Twin Center Program on Trade and Circular Economy.

The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Riza Noer Arfani as the Director of CWTS UGM and drg. Ika Dewi Ana, Ph.D as the Vice-Rector of Universitas Gadjah Mada. Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang from the Deputy Director-General of the WTO and H.E. Monique T.G. Van Daalen as the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the WTO also expressed their support for the workshop in their welcoming remarks.

read more

Pandangan tentang Perkembangan Terbaru di Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, 2017-2019

Oleh Taufiq Adiyanto dan Saiful Alim Rosyadi, Universitas Gadjah Mada

Kondisi Perekonomian Provinsi

Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta mengalami pertumbuhan 5,26 persen dan 6,02 persen pada 2017 dan 2018. Pertumbuhan tersebut ditopang oleh sektor jasa kontruksi yang tumbuh 7,03 dan 13,1 persen pada 2017 dan 2018. Pembangunan Bandar Udara Internasional Yogyakarta merupakan salah satu pendorong pertumbuhan sektor ini, di samping pembangunan sekolah, hotel, dan perumahan (BPS, 2019a). Perekonomian provinsi ini disumbang paling besar oleh industri pengolahan, sektor jasa hotel dan restoran, dan sektor jasa konstruksi.

read more