The Go Full Circle 2023 Program: Wrap Up Reflections

December 1, 2023

Cirque du Soil x Go Full Circle 2023 program: Wrap up reflections

In the vibrant heart of Melbourne sometime in 2023, a quiet revolution across councils and business traders were championed by the Go Full Circle Program. Now in its second successful year, this transformative initiative is reshaping the narrative for local SME businesses, guiding them toward a future rooted in sustainability and circular economy principles.
 

Go Full Circle 2023 program snapshot:

Cirque du Soil was engaged as project delivery partner for the 2023 program and responsible for the business engagement, tech stack design and LMS integration and program delivery, designed specifically for SME owners and leaders in an 8 week virtual program, which ran from July – September 2023.

  • 30 SMB participants enrolled in the 8 week program to learn Circular Economy principles and a were provided a toolkit to identify potential circular initiatives within their organisations.
  • Program participants consisted of businesses representing 15 hospitality businesses, 2 hotels, 9 retail, 2 events, 3 health industry and 5 community organisations.
  • Cirque du Soil designed and managed the Trader EOI ecosystem, Curriculum and Adult Learning framework, Workshop Program Modules and toolkit, guest speakers and supported each individual business’ circularity action plan.
  • 1:1 Consulting sessions and Drop in sessions conducted
  • Hosted and coordinated In Person networking program wrap up event
  • Outcomes: Overall, participants reported a 35% uplift in confidence (from 5.88 to 7.92 out of 10), and their motivation to drive circular change at conclusion was a 9 out of 10.

Tangible Impacts on Businesses

The program’s impact will continue to go beyond theory; it’s transformative aspect stems from regenerative thinking principles and fostering a business leader’s ultimate ‘why’ as they embarked on their individual circular action plans. Overall businesses reported benefits like cost savings and increased environmental and social value. For instance, a local café reduced waste management costs by 20% through innovative recycling practices learned in the program. The focus extended beyond monetary gains, emphasizing creating value through stakeholder engagement.

Diverse Participation and Perspectives

A strength of the program lies in its diversity of businesses from cafes, hotels, bars, retail stores, to showcase its versatility. One of the best learnings and insights were gained at on-site consultations, to further support translating circular initiatives into practical implementations across varied sectors, from a hair salon and physiotherapist to a music studio.

Building hyperlocal Communities of Practice

Moving forwards, our personal goals of developing circular education programs was to ultimately create a cumulative effect of place based communities of practice, to build deeper connections and collaboration among participants and the broader community. Jean noted, “One key design consideration was to create lasting networks, knowing that would amplify change.”

To support this, alongside our 1-day Circular Transitions Leadership workshops series, we created an ongoing cross sectorial community of practice from a range of industry groups, in a roving series of social events for 2024, via a Circularity in Action social meet up Linkedin and Facebook group. 

Looking Ahead: A Future of Possibilities

As the program wraps up its second year, hopes are high for its continuation, whether through cohort-based programs, masterclasses, or self-paced online workshops. The aim remains consistent: to guide businesses in their transformation toward a circular economy.

The Circular Economy is not just an environmental or social ideal; it’s a game changing business opportunity where we can leverage both reducing waste costs and simultaneously lowering carbon impacts created within your businesses, further driving social value to a growing movement of conscious consumerism.

Program Conclusion: A Circular Journey is ongoing

Circular Economy focused education programs like the Go Full Circle Program stands as a beacon for businesses committed to making a positive environmental impact. However it doesn’t just stop there. Like regenerative design, circular economy is an ongoing, transformative journey toward business for good, underpinned by a community-centric mindset. As businesses increasingly look to the future with taking climate action, a bespoke circular education program across industry sectors will progressively lead the way toward a more circular, regenerative future.

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Our soft plastics program is available in Oct 2022.

Do something drastic & cut the plastic. Single-use plastic food packaging is a major contributor to the global solid waste problem. Although the food industry is developing strategies to reduce single-use plastic packaging, we need to better understand consumer awareness and attitudes about the issue.

When you toss a plastic bottle into your recycling bin, there’s no guarantee it actually gets recycled. In fact, odds are, it doesn’t. 

This is one of our key priority streams, where by using the same containers, in the same form, over and over again – it eases demand for virgin materials, reduces energy needed to spit out thousands of new plastic bottles or cardboard boxes, and prevents heaps of trash from ending up in landfills or oceans.

They’re bulky, large in size and consumes large amounts of space.

We use paper and cardboard in so much packaging and stacks of it still ends up in landfill, resulting in stacks of methane production, a major greenhouse gas.

When when you recycle cardboard waste and keep it free of oil and contamination, you end up saving ample amounts of water and energy and minimise trees being chopped down to get virgin material.

Cigarette butts are the world’s most littered plastic item, with around 7 billion dropped in Australia every year. In partnership with Fungi Solutions, CigCycle collected cigarette butts will undergo a Myco-Remediation program (mushrooms, FYI) at their Thornbury myco-facility for research and development for new circular materials.