Social enterprise Good360 recently launched the Good360 Inner Circle program with support from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in response to the rising costs of living and to speed up Australia’s transition to a circular economy.
Good360 is a charity that collects and donates unsold or surplus goods to people in need, providing social benefits and ensuring excess goods and services from the business sector do not go to waste. The Good360 Inner Circle program aims to build upon this work by supporting, encouraging and rewarding those retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers that demonstrate strong sustainability and social commitments as a way of doing business.
Businesses partnering with the Good360 Inner Circle program will need to exhibit their sustainability and social commitments through their operations and participate regularly in activities such as donating pre-consumer excess goods and services as well as providing support to the program as a whole through funding, volunteer staff and expertise and helping to amplify the movement towards zero waste and community impact.
In return, businesses will receive regular data and impact reporting covering their environmental and social contributions and will also be awarded a Good360 Inner Circle badge that publicly recognises their commitment and contribution towards environmental sustainability and social impact goals.
Founder and Managing Director, Alison Covington AM, said that while industry had embraced the opportunity to increase their community impact, it was also critical for governments to get behind the program to ensure its ongoing success.
“Since launching, Good360 has been working with industry to ensure some of the $2.5 billion of brand-new household goods – such as whitegoods, electronics, clothing, furniture, books and more – that is otherwise wasted or sent to landfill gets into the hands of people that need it the most,” Ms Covington said.
“Over this time, it became clear to us that many retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers are increasingly directing their strategy and investment towards sustainable and responsible growth and that is why we decided to extend our efforts by offering them a structured approach, where they will have access to data and impact reporting on their community and environmental contributions.”
Big retail players like BIG W, Best&Less, Winning Group, Linen House, Gildan and Koh have already joined the initiative as founding partners and are expected that more than 50 businesses will join by 2025.
Ms Covington said that an investment of $5 million per year by government over five years in the short term would contribute more than $500 million of goods into the community over this same time period, significantly contributing to supporting Australian families who have been pushed into poverty with the high cost of living and unlocking charity budgets to allow funds to go further. This would also enable Good360 Australia to work with Industry partners to design a self-sustaining product stewardship funding model for all non-food consumable household product categories to help accelerate a circular economy by 2030.
“Each year, governments spend more than $400 million to fund charity organisations to purchase the same goods that are being wasted to help people in need. By working with us, this money could go towards other initiatives to support the most vulnerable in our society,” said Ms Covington.
Learn more about the Good360 Inner Circle program at https://good360.org.au/good360-inner-circle/.