Leading the way to a sustainable industry

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As a peak industry body, ASGA serves to lead the Australian Sporting Goods Industry, with sustainability as a core policy of our operations. Many of our members share this sentiment and are actively in support of this vital mission. To further our goal of positive social impact, ASGA hosted its first sustainability forum to address the most immediate and important waste-management challenges faced by manufacturers, brands and consumers in the space.

Held in Melbourne on March 28th, the event centered around a keynote discussion – lead by sustainability expert Nick Harford – that focused on national waste policy and the subsequent obligations of businesses in the sector. The robust dialogue between participants ranged from packaging to the treatment of soft plastics and responsible product stewardship.

Emerging from the unanimous desire to aim towards an environmentally-conscious industry, the conversation culminated with an agreement to form a specialised sustainability committee to lead the charge. This group will be responsible for providing advice and assistance to the Australian Sporting Goods Industry with regards to setting, promoting and achieving sustainability outcomes.

The goals determined by the committee will be achieved through the development of projects that encompass issues and initiatives including community participation, supply chain management and socially-responsible business practices. Based on the input of sector stakeholders, the first project for the committee will involve finding solutions to reduce the environmental impacts of sourcing, manufacturing and disposing of Australian sporting goods.

This inaugural initiative – identified by the forum participants – will specifically address the sporting footwear segment and it’s significant contribution to landfill each year in light of growing consumer demand. Working from the campaign platform created by ASGA, an industry-led approach to repurposing unwanted pairs of athletic shoes will serve as a blueprint for further sporting goods recycling programs in future.

At this precursory stage, the proposed project will involve the deployment of recycling bins within retail stores, serving as collection points for discarded shoes, followed by the conversion of this useless waste into useful manufacturing materials. Through a robust resource reclamation process, we aim to close the loop and provide a best-practice framework for efficient reclamation methodology and subsequent conversion into new products.

ASGA is committed to seeing this project – and many more like it – through to fruition and making a positive difference within the Australian Sporting Goods Industry. If you would like to support the footwear project, or join brands including Nike, New Balance, Russell Athletic and Lululemon as part of the Sustainability Committee, please reach out to ASGA to learn more.

We thank you in advance for your valuable contribution.

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