South Australia’s global program inspires international leaders to advance circular economy

Twenty-two international leaders, with strong representation from India, participated in Green Industries SA’s Global Leadership Program on the Circular Economy held in Adelaide from 22–26 July.

Green Industries SA’s unique program provides experiential learning on sustainable water management and critical aspects of the circular economy and has been supported by funding from the Australian Water Partnership.

Green Industries SA is a statutory authority within the South Australian Government. It collaborated with the United Nations Centre for Regional Development, Circular Economy Alliance Australia Pty Ltd and international experts to develop the program.

Adelaide is a leader in the circular economy and acknowledged as one of the world’s top liveable cities: South Australia diverts more than 84 percent of its solid waste from landfill; generates nearly 60 percent of its energy from renewables; and is one of the world’s most water-efficient states, with maximum recycling of wastewater and stormwater.

“The program is helping leaders in Australia and the region respond to the opportunities arising from the circular economy – and to accelerate this transition in a practical way,” says Vaughan Levitzke, Chief Executive, Green Industries SA.

“Funding support from the Australian Water Partnership reinforces that some of the most pressing challenges facing nations today can be addressed by collaboration and a circular model for economic and social development,” he says.

Professor Nicholas Schofield, CEO, the Australian Water Partnership

Adelaide is unique globally as there is nowhere else where aspects of the circular economy in practice can be examined in one centrally concentrated metropolitan location.

It is also well known that South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent. The necessity to conserve water has driven the state to become a global leader in wastewater reuse and recycling.

The program’s very strong representation from India recognised the vital importance of the Indian Government’s initiatives such as the Smart Cities Mission, the ‘Clean India Mission’ (Swachh Bharat  Mission) for improving sanitation, and the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

These are all directly relevant to the circular economy with an emphasis on water management, waste management, resource conservation, smart cities and innovation and technology.

Representatives from leading organisations attended the program, including the Mahindra Group, Smart Cities Mission, Government of India, World Bank, National Institute of Urban Affairs, National Institute of Industrial Engineering and Amity University.

Participants at the SA’s Global Leadership Program on the Circular Economy

A feature of the intensive five-day program is site tours showcasing South Australia’s leadership in sustainable water management.

SA Water’s Bolivar-Virginia Pipeline Scheme highlights the multiple regional benefits accruing from the innovative public-private partnership approach to providing sustainable water infrastructure.

The successful wastewater reuse project comprises a 142km network supplying Class A recycled water from the Bolivar sewage treatment works to the Adelaide Plains for use in irrigated agriculture and horticulture.

The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme will increase production of recycled irrigation water by 60 percent, providing up to 20GL of treated, climate and season independent water to the farm gate.

Participants also visited Salisbury Water’s Parafield stormwater harvesting storage and reuse scheme, one of the world’s largest urban stormwater capture, reuse and aquifer recharge schemes, supplying recycled non-potable water to industries, households and parks and gardens.

Vaughan Levitzke, Chief Executive, Green Industries SA with Professor Nicholas Schofield, CEO, the Australian Water Partnership

Other tours provided participants with insights into policies in practice such as South Australia’s Tonsley Innovation District, Beverage Container Deposit Scheme, household kerbside collection system, food waste recycling and advanced composting operations, construction and demolition industry recycling and commercialisation of innovation.

The ‘in residence’ program is offered twice a year with the intake limited to a maximum of 25 participants. The Summer program will be held from 3–7 February 2020.

Source: Green Industries SA
Photo credit: Simon Casson
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