The material consumption of the Asia-Pacific region continues to grow. Within Australia, the national material footprint is higher than for the United States. The need for us to develop along a sustainable trajectory and manage our waste.
ASPIRE was developed by the CSIRO and the project was led by the City of Kingston (CoK) Economic Development department. ASPIRE was supported by a grant received from the Victorian Government Digital Futures Fund. It adopts a unique business model which relies on a digital match-making website and social business networks. Network facilitation led by municipalities and supported by CSIRO.
ASPIRE targets small to medium enterprises. SMEs typically send 50% of their waste directly to landfill and these resources are generally readily recyclable or reusable. Aspire presents a significant opportunity to improve the capture of these resources and diverts them from landfill.
ASPIRE is a match-making website for business. Businesses set up a profile and enter waste resources or resources they would like to receive. They are provided with a list of businesses they could potentially collaborate with. Companies then identify which suggested matches they wish to follow up on and contact other companies as needed. The benefits for municipalities include reduction of landfill in their region and sustainable economic development.
The ASPIRE case demonstrates the role of municipalities as network facilitators and entrepreneurs, supporting innovation-led solutions. It showcases their power to act as change agents to support sustainable development.