We are delighted to share that LUP Global was fortunate to be invited to partake in this year’s Melbourne Knowledge Week event ”Smart & Circular” on 29th April 2021. The event was organized by Sustainability Victoria, Planet Ark & the City of Melbourne.
Our participation took place during an expert panel discussion titled ”SMART AND CIRCULAR: Learn about the potency of data and technology to cut waste and enable circular economy business models”, with other inspiring guest panelists, including:
Hosted by Jodie Bricout, one of Australia’s leading Circular Economies experts, our Founder & CEO, Noreen Kam, discussed how LUP uses data as a foundation to enable our exclusive Circular Asset Database to maximise the value of under-utilized assets and avoid sending valuable equipment to landfill.
A Circular Economy needs more events like this, creating ecosystems where governments, businesses, organisations, and people adopt circular practices to create a world where nothing goes to waste. Melbourne has plenty of pioneers fostering a culture of collaboration with like-minded businesess, and we are proud of this great achievement!
We recently had the chance to work with Branding Consultant Lee Whitfield. Lee has worked in the USA, Europe and Asia but now lives in Melbourne, Australia. While he has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, Lee focuses on social enterprises and how organisations are able to better market & ‘brand’ themselves for greater social impact. We were fortunate to sit down with Lee today for this guest interview, and wanted to share some of his insights for how your organisation can build a more socially responsible & conscious brand.
LUP: Thank-you for sitting down with us today Lee.
LEE: My pleasure. Thank you for having me over to do this interview. Following the Covid rules of course! I’m always happy to share my experience and knowledge with anyone looking to make a positive impact. Also, I would like to say, that I really like what you are doing at LUP Global. I think it is a signpost to the future and something every company should be embracing.
LUP: Thank-you Lee, you are most kind!
Please tell us more about why it is important for companies today to not only focus on social outcomes but to have ‘brands’ that can clearly embody this?
LEE: I work with lots of businesses that really struggle to find points of difference from their competitors. While I can create some lovely Brand Communication for them, this on its own isn’t really enough to make them preferential or stand out. To ensure their products get chosen over the competition, it’s important to go deeper and an add more substance to what they are doing, such as adding social & environmental outcomes. Aligning a company with a not for profit organisation, an ethical cause or simply switching to more sustainable materials/ingredients provides a really compelling reason to pick one Brand over another.
Everyone likes to buy things from “the good guys” (Not the company!) We want to feel we are spending our money, not just on a good product, but also that we are supporting a good person or company. That’s how companies with positive social & environmental outcomes really win out, especially when there is lots of competition.
So there really are a lot of benefits but what is important is that customers believe a company is genuinely committed to the cause.
LUP: You mentioned whilst reviewing the branding for LUP, that being “genuinely committed” is important andunfortunately greenwashing can be common, in particular for large corporates for example, in order to just get a social ‘tick of approval’. Can you please clarify what you mean by ‘Greenwashing’?
LEE: Yes, this is super important. Customers need to be confident that it’s not just a marketing gimmick. Simply claiming to be “green” or as we call it “greenwashing” is a very common practice now. There are lots of companies claiming to support positive social & environmental outcomes but in truth are doing the complete opposite. So making sure that those outcomes are genuine and authentic really matters.
The trick is putting these activities front and centre of the Brand. Sharing these activities on social media, at point of sale, on websites and anywhere the Brand meets customers. Also to do it in quantifiable and tangible ways that are demonstrable and measurable. Shifting Brand communication activities away from special offers and competitions, that often are simply Brand awareness activities anyway, to positive social and environmental outcomes is what is needed. That is also better for the perceived value of the Brand too.
LUP: If you had 3 main take-aways for an organisation looking at how to better market or brand themselves in order to make the greatest social impact, what would they be?
LEE: 1 -Be real, be genuine. Either; pick a social outcome that is close to the business owners’ heart, or align with the companies’ activities, or pick something employees deeply care about. Look for the negatives in what the company does. If it’s a carbon intensive company then plant trees. If it’s a coffee shop then think about where that coffee comes from and what you could do in that region for the local people or environment.
2- Pick something ALL the company can get involved with. Pick something that everyone will want to champion and be proud of. Really good social and environmental outcome projects can lift the spirits of all employees and make them feel good about coming to work each day. Just raising money and giving it away does not have the same impact. Lots of studies show that working in a soup kitchen for the homeless has much more value and leaves a longer lasting impression than simply writing cheques.
3- Take real tangible action that is demonstrable and measurable. Bank Australia has created a Wildlife Refuge in Victoria. It’s very real. You can go there and see it. They can talk about the wildlife that is retiring to the area in their Brand communication. They can show how biodiversity is returning, how the area is greening. While most companies can’t afford to do this they can apply the same ideas on a smaller scale. Pick projects that will give you ongoing content for social media and Brand communication.
LUP: Thanks so much for your time today Lee, great insights & if anyone wants to find out more or get in touch with Lee, you can contact him at: www.melbournebranding.com
Equipment utilisation, also known as asset utilisation, measures the usage and efficiency of site capital equipment and machinery. It helps businesses increase worksite productivity, thus reducing equipment rental rates (if applicable) and production delays.
Yet, under-utilised and aging asset management are sometimes opposing business strategies with the markets becoming highly competitive.
Credit Capital CEO Alister Clare shares how he reaped benefits from effective asset management programs. According to him, “In my experience, predetermined operations, such as shifts in production footprint, facility extension, cost-cutting programs, or infrastructure improvements, account for almost 90% of idle assets. Therefore, to minimise waste and profit loss, resolving all these considerations is crucial.”
On the grounds of these circumstances, the following are central points to help you maximise value from your under-utilised assets.
In this latest blog, our guest expert author Christopher Clark outlines some examples of how from an individual consumers perspective you can apply some of the commercial methods businesses adopt to prolong the lifecycle of your consumer assets.
Instead of throwing out a piece of under-utilised equipment, there are many options for repurposing it. For example, from a consumer perspective converting your mobile phone into a surveillance camera, using it as a remote media control or retooling it as a backup emergency phone are only a few suggestions. Similarly, old tablets may be used as a music player, repurposed as an e-reader, converted into a standalone cookbook, or used as a secondary display for a computer.
In doing so, you make the most out of your assets and, more importantly, contribute to the betterment of the environment by reducing waste.
Refurbish And Resell
Refurbishing and reselling your under-utilised asset is an excellent way to make the most value out of it. For instance, you can make something out of a seldom-used computer by cleaning, repairing, and reselling it. But, before you do so, evaluate the functionality of your assets before reselling them. Some equipment may even be worth more and could earn you more money.
Redeploying means identifying existing unused equipment to be redeployed for a particular business or work process. The process is achieved by matching the equipment needed for the project to the existing underused equipment. The asset managers will assess how the available under-utilised assets can be made helpful with minimal modifications to the project. What type of assets do you have lying around your home or business that could potentially be redeployed?
Opt For Discount And Trade-in
There are manufacturing companies or distributors that accept trade-ins or offer discounts for equipment when clients buy something new. In this process, organisations may consider whether the assets that would be declared under-utilised may be resold to a manufacturing company for cash or accepted in return for a discount on purchasing new equipment.
Alternatively, some qualified vendors might be able to find potential buyers for these valuable assets. However, when significant purchases are arranged at a low-cost trade-in or discount to the retailer, this strategy can help negotiate.
Under-utilised Assets Are Valued At LUP Global—The Champions Of Asset Management
In businesses that operate in dynamically developing markets, the proportion of assets declared as under-utilised or obsolete could be higher. In these situations, finding the best compromise between a business’s different goals, such as introducing innovative products or becoming the leader in their field, and the possibility of losing money because of an asset is critical.
LUP Global has a holistic approach and end-to-end asset management strategies tailored to your unique business needs, allowing you to control your investments and improve their efficiency effectively. On top of these, our overarching motivation is making the planet a better place to live —for us and for the generations to come.
We are excited to share that LUP has officially been included in the People’s Choice Award for The Circle Awards AUS & NZ 2021!
The Circle Awards is an annual programme that brings together the diverse businesses, organisations, projects and people adopting circular practices to create a world where nothing goes to waste.
The main purpose of this Award is to recognise the commitment and build credibility as pioneers contributing to a world without waste, foster a culture of collaboration with like-minded businesess and build awareness in new audiences.
Choosing more conscious alternatives doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality, cost or experience. This award was made to support all businesses and people who believe that by empowering consumers to make more informed purchases, we can transform the economic system into a viable & valuable mainstream business model that benefits everyone.
Please support our work by voting for us (it´s super fast we promise :)!) -before May 28th- in the link below:
LUP: Hi Leanne and John, thanks so much for your time, it is a pleasure to have you here in this discussion. You have been working for a long time in sustainability, and recently published an article about the Right to Repair… Why is this so important?
Leanne: In many ways ‘repair’ is a first responder to the waste challenges that confront society today, and consumers are increasingly wanting to have some control over their goods and efforts to prolong their life, value and functionality … a key principle of the circular economy. If Australia is serious about waste avoidance and the practical implementation of circular economy principles, we need to move up the waste management hierarchy with genuine conviction and authenticity of action.
Of course, we need to recycle more, we need cleaner streams of recovered materials and we need resilient end-markets for the secondary materials, but we urgently need heavy-lifting on product durability, repairability and re-usability. In simple terms, the value and role of durability, repair and reuse in several product categories needs to be elevated, enabled and supported in order to create more circular patterns of production and consumption.
LUP: What are the main challenges/obstacles for the implementation of this model, and how can we overcome them?
John: There are currently many barriers that contribute to the inability of consumer to repair their goods, including the physical design of the products, the intellectual property rights of the manufacturers and the licences that govern the use of the goods and the lack of access to spare parts and repair or service information. There is also the fear that increased independent repair activity would undermine manufacturers’ control of their lucrative repair and service aftermarkets. Those manufacturers and companies opposing the Right to Repair, cite safety, security and privacy concerns as the reasons for their opposition to the Right to Repair movement.
While other countries have implemented tax incentives to encourage repair or require the labelling of consumer appliances to present a durability index of performance and repairability, Australia can do much more to create positive and desirable interventions to facilitate repairability of products. The appetite for widespread repair action and more durable products is growing but we also need to get serious about developing appropriate legal and policy levers that will encourage and enable repair as well as finding appropriate funding sources that support and reward activity at the top of the waste hierarchy, be it through design for durability, repair, reuse or different consumption models.
The momentum behind a right to repair is growing in Australia and the opportunity to turbocharge its potential and application is now. Most importantly, we need to focus on the opportunities to build a culture of repair that meets consumer expectations, protects industry’s IP and maximises the social and environmental benefits. This includes recognising and creating the right regulatory and policy settings that encourage increased repair activity. It is also important to inform policy development with consumers’ experiences of repair, whether that be the inability to access repair or service information or to choose third parties to conduct their repairs. We also need to see greater acknowledgement of how repair can avoid and reduce waste associated with electrical and electronic products at scale and nationwide. This necessarily requires collaboration, government investment, business commitment and consumer participation.
LUP: How do you see the current situation in Australia, and the near future?
Leanne: Australia is at the front-end of history when it comes ‘waste’ policy reforms and how we transform the numerous suite of actions that seek to meet the ambitious targets in the National Waste Policy Action Plan. Durability, repairability and re-usability are more than ‘nice to have’ type measures; they represent a potent set of strategies that are increasingly being demanded by consumers and the general public.
Fortuitously, the Review of the Product Stewardship Act recommendations clearly identified the need to “broaden the objects of the Act to include product design improvements related to durability, reparability, re-usability and recyclability.” The Government supports this recommendation, and it reflects smarter thinking about developing product stewardship schemes that address the full product life cycle.
While Australia does not have a “Right to Repair” legislation, the Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to inquire into whether Australian consumers need a ‘Right to Repair’ their consumer electronics and other manufactured durables. The Productivity Commission’s Issues Paper released on December 7 2020, highlighted the focus of their inquiry: whether Australian consumers have the ability to repair faulty goods and to access repair services at a competitive price? The Productivity Commission has received over 140 submissions in response to the Right to Repair issues paper from diverse groups, associations, companies and individuals, and a draft report is due in June 2021. These submissions can be viewed and downloaded here.
This Right to Repair inquiry provides a timely opportunity for individuals, brands, retailers, manufacturers and NGOs to share their views, experiences and constructive solutions as a contribution to maximising safe and cost effective repair action in Australia. The time is Right to Repair but it requires policy responses and programs that acknowledge the barriers and opportunities of repair to make it work as a waste avoidance and reduction strategy. And we mustn’t overlook the social and cultural dimension. Repair, be it DIY at repair cafes, or through independent repair businesses or manufacturers, is just as much about empowering consumers to take control of the products they purchase and own, as it is about waste reduction and sustainable materials consumption.
LUP: John, as Director and Co-founder of the E-waste Watch Institute, what actions are you seeing in the case for higher value capital equipment such as laboratory or manufacturing equipment -main focus of LUP´s business model-?
John: Prolonging the life, value and functionality of all manufactured durables should be a high priority if we are genuine about making circularity a reality. Higher value capital equipment, including scientific and medical devices, represent a class of products where durability, reparability and remarketing can be a template for other categories of equipment. But we need to tell the story with authenticity so that consumers and the market more generally can understand the benefits of product life extension and reuse. Whether it is household consumers of whitegoods and consumer electronics, or commercial and industrial buyers of electrical and electronic equipment, service providers can do much more to inform and engage potential customers and product users.
A business model that can educate and empower the market to embrace product reuse, remarketing, and preventative maintenance programs, is a business model that goes beyond recycling and is therefore geared towards waste avoidance and direct customer benefit rather than ameliorative and incremental solutions.
LUP: Thank-you so much for your time today Leanne and John, and for your wonderful insights into this important topic on Repair in Australia. We look forward to keeping in touch and continuing to follow the important work you are both doing in this area.
The assets of a business or company are the key drivers of driving value creation and the investment decisions need to be fully evaluated. Investment for a small business requires careful assessment as depending on the scale it can affect its workers, projects, and the company itself if it fails.
Hewson Jackman, CEO and financial analyst at Max Cash, shed some light on small businesses utilising assets on their 2nd, 3rd lives. Jackman says “the current economic situation compelled many small business owners to prefer using second-hand or used machinery. Businesses are not anxious to be frugal in other areas as long as efficiency and results are not compromised. It is known as “green activity” which is something that any company should practice”.
Assets in their 2nd or 3rd lives merely imply that it has formerly been owned – it does not define the condition or quality of the product. There is a wide array of reconditioned, recycled, and never used machinery for sale. Select the preferred condition that would best work for you and your business.
Good ventilation is essential for any equipment. If your workspace lacks ventilation, it may lead to machinery overheating. Frequent overheating limits the product´s efficiency and service life. Advocates at LUP Global recommend controlling work area temperatures.
Maintaining your used equipment clean and free from clutter is another crucial factor in extending its lifespan. Air attracts dust like a magnet and some parts that preserve the coolness of the machine draw in dust, pollen, shavings, and dirt particles, which accumulate over time. Whenever possible, dust and wipe the equipment at least once a week.
Don´t Cover Electrical Parts
Cords and cable wires should not be placed under rugs or floor coverings because they can be scratched or be damaged. When left unchecked and overlooked, damages may diminish an asset´s efficiency and hence curtail its lifespan. Use appropriate safety covers when required. Thus as much as possible, tidy things up and take some time to install appropriate chord and wiring management.
Schedule Regular Maintenance Service
Consider how often you use your equipment. For instance, equipment that operates daily for a more extended period could malfunction without warning. It´s necessary to set regular maintenance to detect problems before they can interrupt workflow. Understand what warranty provisions are available from your scheduled maintenance programs.
Business Insurance – Machinery Breakdown coverage for pooled Assets
Although we do not provide any insurance protection, LUP Global has negotiated access for our clients in a unique insurance offering, which is provided by our ancillary service Insurance partners. This protection includes machinery breakdown coverage on a pool of assets, as well as your pre-existing assets and there may be an opportunity to upgrade through your existing insurance providers. If however you would like to have this reviewed through LUP’s ancillary service Insurance partners, please let us know. This fully comprehensive cover can include protection across almost all breakdown issues, partly including wear and tear, as well as any resultant loss of trade/income, whilst less comprehensive cover mainly protects against motor burnout / fusion, minimising any associated risks with procuring an under-utilised asset.
Finishing Off With The Ultimate Tip
Utilising assets in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th lives will help your business save money. But, there´s more to it than just cutting cost. The more significant benefit it adds is creating a more sustainable and greener world for generations to come.
LUP is a global network of companies and partners who believe in creating a better future through focusing on sustainability. Transform your Assets Life Cycle with Circular Supply Chain Innovations with LUP Global.