Posts Tagged ‘John Gertsakis’

GlobalPSC Members Feature Prominently at AWRE

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:29 pm, July 31st, 2015Comments1

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In a few weeks, Australasia’s leading waste and recycling expo will feature a variety of GlobalPSC members from plenary talks to debate on e-waste futures.

Stan Krpan, CEO of Sustainability Victoria, will deliver the opening address and provide an environment portfolio CEO’s update. John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Infoactiv, will chair a debate on the future of e-waste that also features long-term GlobalPSC members Steve Morriss of Close the Loop and Carmel Dollison of ANZRP/TechCollect. Rose Read of AMTA/MobileMuster will chair and present at a session on going e-waste free in the workplace that also features Joel Newland of Infoactiv.

GlobalPSC members are eligible for a 10% discount on registration for the seminars. Contact us directly for the code to access the discount. Expo attendance itself is free but registration is still required.

Program details are available here.

 

Guest Blog – E-waste Targets Must Go Up

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2015Comments1

john_gertsakisThe Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Infoactiv. John is also a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group

 

Clear and logical support grows for increased recycling targets under Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).

Australia’s electronics recycling scheme is currently subject to an Operational Review by the Australian Government, and many stakeholders, including the Waste Management Association of Australia, are expecting the recycling targets to be sharply increased.

Anything other than a significant increase will continue to exacerbate stockpile creation, questionable recycling practices, and the appalling situation of Co-regulatory Arrangements (industry programs) terminating or minimising collection and recycling services to local councils across urban and regional Australia.

The NTCRS has achieved significant collection and recycling outcomes in a product category that was in urgent need of industry-wide Product Stewardship attention and industry support. The Product Stewardship Act and the subordinate regulations represent landmark policy reform aimed at applying the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility to unwanted, obsolete and end-of-life electronics. Infoactiv remains very supportive of the NTCRS and its achievements to date.

The majority of participating stakeholders wish to see the NTCRS expand and thrive as it continues to deliver measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. However the continuation of ‘easy-to reach’ recycling targets does nothing to demonstrate genuine CSR goals, nor do low targets address the vast volume of television and computer waste that continues to flood into landfills in all States and Territories.

We receive several calls each week from frustrated local councils that have had their collection and recycling service withdrawn by industry Arrangements under the NTCRS. And ‘frustrated’ is the polite translation of how they express their views. These are not isolated instances but a steady stream of municipalities who are now having to bear the cost burden of industry not recycling the very products that they produce and place on the market.

Most importantly, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment is perfectly placed to significantly increase the enforceable targets under the NTCRS and swiftly deal with several issues that require prompt and decisive attention.

Low-level target increases will continue to aggravate key issues at a time when the scheme needs proactive adjustment by the Australian Government. More information about the Government’s Operational Review that is currently underway can be found here.

Ongoing research and data collection by Planet Ark underscores the importance of the NTCRS given the number of public enquiries received every week wanting information about where and how to recycle unwanted televisions, computers and IT peripherals. Consumers, householders, small business and the wider public have clear expectations that manufacturers and brands in particular must play a greater role in managing the total product life cycle of their product beyond the point of sale and warranties. This merely reflects current activity in many other OECD countries.

In summary, Infoactiv believes that the NTCRS is a fundamentally sound and innovative scheme that addresses a significant and growing resource recovery imperative related to the consumption and disposal of television and IT equipment. The Department of the Environment is to be commended for its efforts in successfully launching and administering the NTCRS since inception in 2011.

Additional detail about our 10 point plan to adjust and improve the NTCRS can be found here.

We also recognise that any new, nationwide initiative such as the NTCRS will experience establishment phase glitches and minor hurdles, which only serve to inform the scheme’s long-term performance and success.

The Environment Minister’s option is very clear; sharply increase the enforceable collection targets, and do it swiftly. This will not only meet community expectation, it will also address the genuine needs of local councils nationwide, especially those that have been ignore by industry.

Most importantly, and often overlooked, is the unequivocal fact that a target increase under the NTCRS will further maximise resource recovery levels and better manage hazardous substances that are otherwise ending up in Australian landfills.

Losing such scarce and non-renewable resources at a time when the solution is available, obvious and uncomplicated would reflect poorly on the necessary policy reforms that are urgently required.

As always, greater public discussion about the NTCRS and how to achieve positive outcomes is welcome and encouraged.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council. 

John Gertsakis is a sustainability practitioner with over 20 years experience as an industry adviser, consultant and research academic. He works on a range of issues including Product Stewardship for electronics and EPR strategy, regulatory analysis, government relations and environmental communications. Through his current position as Chief Sustainability Officer with Infoactiv, John’s work is focused on strategic business development and the design of new stewardship solutions for manufactured durables.

John served as Executive Director of Product Stewardship Australia from 2006 – 2011, representing global consumer electronics brands and OEMs. He was deeply involved as a key advocate of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and sat on the Implementation Working Group for the NTCRS. He authored Australia’s first report on e-waste product stewardship in 1995 titled: Short Circuiting Waste from Electronic Products. He was also the co-author and editor of Return to Sender: An Introduction to Extended Producer Responsibility (1997). John is also Vice President of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative, and an Honorary Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.

 

Two Weeks to Go! Recycling in a Global Economy – GlobalPSC Thought Leadership Forum

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:32 am, October 13th, 2014Comments0

Recycling in a Global Economy
SMC Conference & Function Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney
9:00am to 1:00pm

The Global Product Stewardship Council and its members invite you to our latest thought leadership forum featuring Adam Minter, the author of best-selling book Junkyard Planet. Adam is a third-generation scrap dealer turned journalist who’s spent over a decade living in Asia, examining recycling practices first-hand and sharing his insights.

The GlobalPSC and electronics recycler TES-AMM are pleased to provide this first Australian opportunity to hear and meet Adam Minter. Adam’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with Adam and other international experts on the implications of Adam’s insights for Australia. Participants will include:

  • Anna Minns, General Manager TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand
  • John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI
  • Justin O’Sullivan, Executive Director – Sales Operations of Dell Australia
  • Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of SMaRT Centre, UNSW Australia
  • John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv Group and Product Stewardship Advisory Group member
  • Dr Helen Lewis, Principal of Helen Lewis Research and Australian Battery Recycling Initiative Chief Executive

Discussions will be facilitated by GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin.

Join us to learn and discuss:

  • How is economic growth in China driving demand for recycled materials?
  • How does the global trade in recyclable materials affect recycling in countries like the US and Australia?
  • How can we ensure responsible recycling practices, particularly for e-waste and plastics?
  • How do changing economic conditions both help and hurt recycling and reuse, especially for electronics?
  • What role will the informal sector play in the future of recycling?
  • What are the implications of global material flows for product stewardship?
  • What are incentives and drivers for incorporating Design for Environment and the circular economy in product stewardship?

Registrations are $275 (GST-incl) for non-members of the GlobalPSC and $125 (GST-incl) for GlobalPSC members. Registration and payment information is available here. A light lunch will be provided for registered attendees.

Proudly sponsored by TES-AMM, DellTechCollect and SERI.

 

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GlobalPSC Forms Advisory Group on Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:02 pm, July 31st, 2014Comments9

GlobalPSC_Advisory_Group_0714At the Global Product Stewardship Council, we take pride in the breadth and depth of experience represented by our members and our extensive global network of those in the know. We regularly seek information and advice from a diverse range of experts across varying product types, regulatory perspectives and program experience. It therefore gives us great pleasure to announce the founding members of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group spanning Europe, Africa, North America and the Asia Pacific:

Brief profiles for GlobalPSC Advisory Group members are provided here.

The GlobalPSC will regularly canvass information and views from the Advisory Group, as we did recently in preparing  submissions to governments on proposed changes to product stewardship and extended producer responsibility frameworks in Nova Scotia and New Zealand. We greatly appreciate their contributions to the continued growth of the GlobalPSC and look forward to working with them in the years to come.

Recycling in a Global Economy – GlobalPSC Thought Leadership Forum

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:48 pm, July 31st, 2014Comments6

Recycling in a Global Economy
SMC Conference & Function Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney
9:00am to 1:00pm

The Global Product Stewardship Council and its members invite you to our latest thought leadership forum featuring Adam Minter, the author of best-selling book Junkyard Planet. Adam is a third-generation scrap dealer turned journalist who’s spent over a decade living in Asia, examining recycling practices first-hand and sharing his insights.

The GlobalPSC and electronics recycler TES-AMM are pleased to provide this first Australian opportunity to hear and meet Adam Minter. Adam’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with Adam and other international experts on the implications of Adam’s insights for Australia. Participants will include:

  • Anna Minns, General Manager TerraCycle Australia & New Zealand
  • John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI
  • Justin O’Sullivan, Executive Director – Sales Operations of Dell Australia
  • Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of SMaRT Centre, UNSW Australia
  • John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv Group and Product Stewardship Advisory Group member
  • Dr Helen Lewis, Principal of Helen Lewis Research and Australian Battery Recycling Initiative Chief Executive

Discussions will be facilitated by GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin.

Join us to learn and discuss:

  • How is economic growth in China driving demand for recycled materials?
  • How does the global trade in recyclable materials affect recycling in countries like the US and Australia?
  • How can we ensure responsible recycling practices, particularly for e-waste and plastics?
  • How do changing economic conditions both help and hurt recycling and reuse, especially for electronics?
  • What role will the informal sector play in the future of recycling?
  • What are the implications of global material flows for product stewardship?
  • What are incentives and drivers for incorporating Design for Environment and the circular economy in product stewardship?

Registrations are $275 (GST-incl) for non-members of the GlobalPSC and $125 (GST-incl) for GlobalPSC members. Registration and payment information is available here. A light lunch will be provided for registered attendees.

Proudly sponsored by TES-AMM, DellTechCollect and SERI.

 

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Emphasis on Product Stewardship in New Zealand

Posted by GlobalPSC at 1:05 pm, July 17th, 2014Comments0

Product stewardship is clearly a hot topic of discussion in New Zealand, as reflected in the latest issue of revolve, published by WasteMINZ.

In the issue, WasteMINZ CEO Paul Evans weighs in on likely impacts of the Environment Minister’s recent release of a discussion document on priority waste streams for product stewardship intervention, and further detail is given on the potential designation of priority products.

John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv,  also reflects upon the need for life cycle benefits to drive ‘product stewardship 2.0′.

Check out revolve for further information.

GlobalPSC Launches Key Themes to be Explored with Members

Posted by GlobalPSC at 7:39 pm, March 25th, 2014Comments2

Singapore – The Global Product Stewardship Council today announced a series of themes to enable decision makers to more effectively draw upon international experience in product stewardship policy and to help raise the standards of recycling programs globally.

The roundtable discussions, hosted jointly by the GlobalPSC and Infoactiv at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, addressed a broad range of chemicals and products amongst key stakeholders including BASF, HP, Apple, Shell and CropLife Asia.

GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin provided a global overview of product stewardship and extended producer responsibility programs then launched the themes being examined by the GlobalPSC, which include:

  • Making meaningful comparisons between programs (especially for recycling rates and key performance measures)
  • The importance of responsible recycling
  • The future of product stewardship
  • Competition amongst producer responsibility organisations and service providers

The GlobalPSC will be refining and prioritising the themes in consultation with GlobalPSC members and sharing results through a variety of approaches. These efforts will be assisted by product stewardship expert Marra Teasdale from her base in Singapore.

The Singapore roundtable was facilitated by Chris Mason and John Gertsakis from Infoactiv, and covered a range of key issues across the product life-cycle from Design for Environment and Cleaner Production through to product use and end-of-life management. Infoactiv’s focus during discussions was to explore the critical importance of regional priorities and cultural sensitivity given the diversity of countries and issues across the Asia Pacific region. The roundtable highlighted that the definition and application of Product Stewardship and EPR can vary dramatically mindful of context, culture and environmental priorities.

GlobalPSC Member – Helen Lewis Research

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:39 am, March 7th, 2014Comments9

Dr Helen Lewis, founder of Helen Lewis Research, is an environmental consultant with a focus on product stewardship and packaging sustainability.

She works for a variety of clients in government and the private sector to promote design for sustainability and increased recovery of products and packaging at end of life.

Helen has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) since early 2010. She has also worked closely with the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) since its inception on capacity building projects including delivery of workshops, guidelines and industry case studies.

Helen is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP). She is co-author of:

  • ‘Packaging for Sustainability’, with Karli Verghese and Leanne Fitzpatrick (Springer, 2012)
  • ‘Design + Environment’, with John Gertsakis (Greenleaf, 2001).

Helen also serves as a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group.

 

Australia Establishes Priority Products for Product Stewardship

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:46 pm, July 4th, 2013Comments12

Australia has released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 (the Act). The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Under the Act, any future mandatory or co-regulatory approach must be preceded by 12 months notice before a particular product can have such a regulatory approach applied.

The designated products include:

  • Waste architectural and decorative paint
  • End-of-life handheld batteries (less than 2kg in weight)
  • Packaging (and subsets of packaging, such as consumer packaging and beverage packaging)
  • End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges
  • End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges

The reasons given for their inclusion on the list are available here. In April 2013, Environment Ministers from Australia and New Zealand acting as the  Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) added end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint to their work plan. Preparation of a Decision Regulation Impact Statement is also underway for packaging.

Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, sought advice from a range of sources including the Product Stewardship Advisory Group, the SCEW, jurisdictional priorities, industry stakeholders, and international obligations in determining the list.

The Global Product Stewardship Council and GlobalPSC members serving on the Product Stewardship Advisory Group include:

The GlobalPSC has been working closely with the Australian Government and jurisdictions to draw upon international experience and expertise to further develop sensible, practical product stewardship approaches.

 

2013 WME Leaders List Recognises John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv

Posted by GlobalPSC at 10:42 pm, July 3rd, 2013Comments0

John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Global Product Stewardship Council Corporate Member Infoactiv, has been named as a ‘Resources and Waste Leader’ in the 2013 WME Leaders List. This acknowledgement resulted from over 100 nominations and more than 1500 public votes. The GlobalPSC is pleased to have supported John’s nomination and see this recognition as further proof of the emergence of product stewardship.

The WME Leaders List is an annual event focused on recognising individuals and their leadership qualities. It is judged by industry experts and the WME readership, and highlights outstanding individual achievements that advance sustainability.

There is movement across the Asia Pacific region for increased e-waste recycling of unwanted electrical and electronic products, including televisions, computers, printers, appliances and batteries. In Australia, the scale of the problem is significant with an estimated 106,000 tonnes of televisions and computers (16.8 million units) reaching end-of-life in recent years, and the numbers are growing. The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme is leading the way with various industry organisations rolling out collection and recycling services across urban and regional areas.

John was involved from the outset in 2000 with early calls to establish a national approach to industry-funded e-waste recycling. Underpinned by relentless advocacy, his collaborative approach with government, industry and NGOs played a critical role in realising the Commonwealth Product Stewardship Act 2011.

As part of a specialist team at Infoactiv, John’s work on e-waste recycling is now expanding into new sectors, and is aimed at helping organisations minimise business risk and environmental harm from a hybrid of products and related waste such as laptops, appliances, batteries, commercial furniture and polystyrene.

Infoactiv’s Managing Director, Helen Jarman noted that:

“John’s knowledge, history and action on product sustainability is comprehensive, and spans over a decade of consulting to brands, OEMs, industry associations and governments in Australia and New Zealand. John’s WME accolade further accentuates the quality of commitment and expertise fostered at Infoactiv in pursuit of exceeding customer expectations.”

John’s commitment to ensuring long term solutions to e-waste recycling began in 1996 with Australia’s first comprehensive report on e-waste titled ‘Short Circuiting Waste from Electrical and Electronic Products’, published by RMIT University. He also advised the consumer electronics industry on the development of TV recycling in Australia.

John’s work on environmental stewardship has been further highlighted through his appointment to the Australian Government’s Product Stewardship Advisory Group, where his experience is directly relevant to recommending new products and wastes that could be addressed under the Product Stewardship Act.

In response to the Leaders List accolade, John said that:

“Being a WME Resources and Waste Leader is a wonderful honour and I feel truly humbled. More importantly it keeps product stewardship and e-waste recycling on the agenda. It also demonstrates that our customers and their investment in product recovery results in broader social, economic and environmental benefit.”

Global Product Stewardship Council CEO Russ Martin, nominated by peers to the Leaders List in the same category and also serving on the Product Stewardship Advisory Group, supported John’s win, saying,

“I have had the good fortune to work closely with John over the years, and was honoured to be nominated in the same category. John has long been a leader in product stewardship and is truly deserving of this broader recognition. We benefit from having strong GlobalPSC members such as John and Infoactiv, and we look forward to their ongoing contributions in our field.”   

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