Aussie Timber, Steel & Concrete: 2030 Push for Circular Economy

Australia has 7 years to fully transition to a Circular Economy

Thu 20 Apr 23


Australian forest businesses are embracing circularity with Weathertex joining a growing number committed to the principles of recycle, reuse, and reduce.

Earlier this month, Wood Central covered the push towards global circularity and in late 2022 publisher Jason Ross reported on the decision by the federal government to transition to a full circular economy by 2030.

At the time it was assumed that timber would be a natural ‘fit’ with low-embodied timber already recognised by the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation as its preferred building material.

However, timber is not without challenges; there are question marks over the definition of certain recycling and/or reusable timber products.

In addition, ‘green’ steel and ‘recycled’ concrete are both making ground in the race to full circularity.

In a 2020 discussion paper commissioned by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), Steve Mitchell of EPD Australasia spoke of the importance of the supply chain establishing collaborative business models to achieve circularity.

This could include pooling resources, sharing materials, and reducing consumption by introducing more efficiencies in the production process.

FWPA Partners with Planet Ark’s Australian Circular Economy (ACE) Hub

The FWPA has teamed up with Planet Ark’s ACE Hub to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy. The FWPA spoke Wood Central and identified six key benefits to the growing partnership:

  • Advocacy for sustainable forestry practices, including responsible harvesting, reforestation, and endangered species conservation, ensuring a stable and enduring timber supply.
  • Encouragement of innovative products and applications that support the circular economy, such as easily disassembled modular construction systems and furniture made from reclaimed timber.
  • Increased use of recycled timber in various applications, such as construction, furniture and decoration, helping to minimise waste.
  • Adoption of closed-loop systems that capture and repurpose waste materials in production processes, promoting environmental sustainability.
  • Collaboration with other sectors to discover opportunities for engaging in the circular economy, where materials and products are repurposed and recycled instead of discarded, reducing waste, enhancing resource efficiency, and potentially creating new business opportunities.
  • Investment in innovative research and the development of new technologies and business models to enable new opportunities and reduce environmental impacts.
Weathertex White Paper: Embracing Circular Economy Principles in Material Selection

Data from Coreo, gathered from a recent Stockland residential estate, was used in the paper.

Coreo is Australia’s leading circular consultant and has advised mining, property and infrastructure, government and retail customers.

It’s CEO, Ashleigh Morris, is on the Board of Planet Ark’s ACE Hub and was recently appointed to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Committee.

Coreo developed a Circular Economy Maturity Assessment (CEMA) to analyse material circularity and manufacturers’ progress towards a circular economy.

Weathertex cladding was included in the analysis and received a circularity score of 86% which was the highest amongst the materials assessed.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.


  • Wood Central

    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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