Sustainability Victoria’s Smart Grants Boosting the Circular Economy

Sustainability Victoria’s Smart Grants Boosting the Circular Economy

Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of most economies — in the United States, 30 million SMEs account for nearly two-thirds of net new private sector jobs in recent decades while in Europe they represent 99% of all businesses — yet all face significant barriers and challenges in adopting circular economy innovations. Read how Victoria, Australia is helping manufacturing SMEs overcome these challenges to create a circular economy.

By Robert C. Brears*

SMEs typically face lack of government support and ineffective legislation when implementing circular economy innovations. Lack of information about the benefits of the circular economy also play a significant role, for instance, many businesses are unaware of using materials more efficiently despite material costs often being the second biggest business expense after labor: for many manufacturers, it can be the largest expense with material costs accounting for 30–80% of the costs of making a product.

Sustainability Victoria’s smart grants to help boost the circular economy

Sustainability Victoria, Australia has launched its Boosting Productivity Materials Efficiency Grants Program to help manufacturers make significant material efficiency gains in their transition towards the circular economy. With the program open to any manufacturer with less than 200 full-time employees, funding is available to help the companies look for materials efficiency solutions that result in more efficient use of materials and less waste sent to landfill.

Grants of up to $13,000 are available per business with:

· Up to $10,000 available for use for expert advice from a materials efficiency assessor consultant who will work with the business to tackle the root cause of the waste problem, help the business understand the true ‘cost’ of waste, and develop a business case for investing in cost-effective solutions

· Up to $3,000 to help put in place materials efficiency solutions

Furthermore, the program is non-competitive with a Business Productivity team advisor available to help all applicants through the application process.

The take-out

Government agencies can provide smart grants that combine funding with advice to help SMEs overcome multiple barriers to circular economy innovations.

*Robert C. Brears is the author of  Urban Water Security  (Wiley),  The Green Economy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus  (Palgrave Macmillan),  Natural Resource Management and the Circular Economy   (Palgrave Macmillan),   and  Blue and Green Cities   (Palgrave Macmillan). He is Founder of Our Future WaterMitidaption, and Mark and Focus.

LinkedIn Groups: Our Future Water / Urban Water Security

Twitter: Mitidaption / YoungH20Leader