NACRO members are the original circular economy experts. We divert waste from landfill, generate funds to support the community, and create thousands of voluntary and paid positions around the country. However, we know very little about our collective impact – the contribution that we, as a sector, make to Australia’s social, environmental and economic fabric. Understanding our collective impact will create an evidence base for the unequalled social and environmental benefits of our sector, helping all NACRO members to demonstrate their unique selling points to customers, businesses and governments. It will also help NACRO to advocate on behalf of the sector, providing hard data and case studies to back up what we already know – that the charitable reuse, recycling and retail sector creates unparalleled social and environmental benefits for the Australian community.
NACRO’s proposed approach seeks to link charitable reuse and recycling with its social, environmental and economic impacts, by inviting members to regularly contribute basic information about their work and impact. This information will be used to build up an increasingly detailed picture of our sector’s collective impact around the country. Individual organisations will be able to access their own data, and ultimately, generate reports and infographics for use in stakeholder communications, annual reports, tenders and grant applications.
Based on research and interviews with charitable peak associations and networks overseas, it is clear that collective impact measurement is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate value and catalyse sector growth, and we are looking forward to working closely with all our members to move this project forwards in the coming year.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project
Led by Monash Unversity, this 3 year research project starts in July 2020 and will build understanding of the role of charitable and community sector organisations in the reuse of products and materials and associated employment and training. It will develop practical methods to measure and report on the contributions of reuse organisations to a socially inclusive Circular Economy. Its aims are:
- To address the gaps in understanding what drives and upholds reuse and the socio-economic benefits it provides; and,
- To develop a national reporting methodology able to inform government circular economy policy, strategic investment and targets.
Circular Economy Impact Measurement
Inaddition, NACRO is independently funding a separate, shorter-term Impact Measurement research project.
The purpose of this research is to demonstrate the social, environmental and economic impacts of charitable reuse and recycling, using the case study of clothing textiles. Understanding the impact of NACRO member activities will contribute to an evidence base for the benefits of the sector, helping all NACRO members to demonstrate their unique selling points to customers, businesses and governments. It will also enable NACRO to advocate on behalf of the sector with hard data to promote the benefits of charitable reuse and recycling organisations within Circular Economy principles.
NACRO has commissioned MRA Consulting to conduct this research, and it is expected that the initial data and outputs will be ready in mid 2020.
Please see NACRO’s Research Brief here.