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What is the Circular Economy Business Support Fund?
The Circular Economy Business Support Fund is a grant program to support businesses in transitioning to a circular economy to keep resources in use for as long as possible, minimize waste and pollution, and regenerate natural systems.
The Circular Economy Business Support Fund is a program offered by Sustainability Victoria, a government agency in the state of Victoria, Australia, that supports businesses to transition towards a circular economy. The fund aims to help businesses identify and implement circular economy practices that can reduce waste, increase resource efficiency, and create new economic opportunities.
The program provides funding and support for small to medium-sized businesses in Victoria to undertake projects that incorporate circular economy principles into their operations. The funding can be used to cover a range of expenses, including consulting fees, infrastructure upgrades, and staff training.
The Circular Economy Business Support Fund is part of the Victorian government’s broader strategy to transition towards a circular economy and reduce waste. It aligns with the state’s waste and resource recovery policy, which sets targets to reduce waste, increase recycling rates, and transition towards a circular economy.
The program aims to support businesses across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, construction, retail, and hospitality, and encourages collaboration between businesses, industry associations, and other stakeholders to accelerate the adoption of circular economy practices.
The aim of the Circular Economy Business Support Fund is to support businesses in Victoria to become more sustainable, reduce their environmental impact, and improve their competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Projects must contribute to 2 or more of the following outcomes:
- Avoidance of waste materials to any waste or Recycling destination.
- Creation of new circular products and services.
- Increase employment through direct creation of jobs
- Increase capacity to extend the useable life of products
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Improve capacity of industry for acting on sustainability.
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Each project can receive a grant between $50,000 and $1,000,000 (ex GST).
Applicants must contribute at least $1 for every $2 funded by Sustainability Victoria (1:2 Co-contribution).
- Co-contributions can be either financial (cash) or In-kind.
- At least 80% of the Co-contribution must be cash contribution.
- Other grants cannot be used for Co-contribution.
- Co-contributions must be for eligible activities
To be eligible for the Circular Economy Business Support Fund, projects must meet the following criteria:
- Innovative: Projects should demonstrate an innovative approach to circular economy practices and have the potential to create new economic opportunities.
- Scalable: Projects should have the potential to scale up and be replicable in other regions or industries.
- Positive environmental impact: Projects should contribute to reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and promote resource efficiency.
- Collaborative: Projects should involve collaboration between multiple stakeholders such as businesses, research institutions, and communities.
- Feasible: Projects should be financially viable and have a realistic implementation plan.
Some examples of eligible projects could include:
- Developing and implementing circular economy practices in manufacturing, construction, or agriculture
- Creating new circular business models that reduce waste and extend the life cycle of products
- Developing and promoting sustainable product design and packaging solutions
- Establishing closed-loop supply chains that recover and reuse materials
- Developing and implementing new waste reduction technologies or processes
- Supporting the development of circular economy startups or social enterprises
- Implementing circular economy practices in the food and beverage industry to reduce food waste and improve resource efficiency.
It’s worth noting that the Circular Economy Business Support Fund encourages projects that are aligned with the Victorian Government’s circular economy policy, such as reducing waste to landfill and increasing the use of recycled materials in manufacturing.
The eligible applicants for this program are:
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Victoria, Australia.
Large businesses with a project located in Victoria and employing less than 200 people.
Not-for-profit organizations that operate in Victoria and have a project that contributes to a circular economy.
Local government authorities or statutory authorities that operate within Victoria and have a project that contributes to a circular economy.
To be eligible for funding, the proposed project must demonstrate how it will contribute to a circular economy by reducing waste, conserving resources, and/or creating new economic opportunities. The project must also align with the fund’s key priorities, including circular design, product stewardship, and circular supply chains.
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Applications close 12 April 2023.