Ecologiq Conference Wrap-Up

The ecologiQ Greener Infrastructure Conference was a resounding success for OC Connections Enterprises.

The conference brought organisations from across Victoria together to discuss innovation in the manufacturing sector and the different ways in which businesses can positively engage in the circular economy. OCCE representatives Steve Batinksy, General Manager, and Nancy Zele, Employment Pathways and Engagement Manager, shared ideas and stories about the important work we do in sustainability.

Honorable Josh Bull, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Level Crossing Removal, raised OCCE’s circular economy model in his opening speech to conference attendees. He highlighted our 100% recycled Eco T Top Bollards, which has diverted over 22 tonnes of plastic waste from landfill.

Not only are the eco bollards made out of recycled plastic that would otherwise be sent to landfill – but their bollards, unlike others in the market, are fully recyclable again in the future. The manufacture of these 20,000 bollards has generated over 2,000 hours of meaningful employment for people living with an intellectual disability. Employment is life changing for people and it improves all life outcomes – health and wellbeing and in turn reduces reliance on Government provided welfare.

Simon Cock, Director of ACE Contractors and an OC Eco T Top Bollards customer, also spoke of the environmental and social benefit of our work in his presentation. Since purchasing from us and seeing first-hand the impact our work has on the community, ACE Contractors hired one of our supported employees, Michael, into their workforce. – Michael has made a smooth transition into open employment and loves the work he now does for ACE.

The ‘Recycled first – Benefits beyond optimizing use of recycled materials’ panel was a hit, with OCCE’s General Manager Steve presenting on behalf of the organisation. The panel included representatives from Green Africa Youth Organisation, Circonomy, and Blue Environment. Steve spoke about the benefits of waste-to-resource materials, from saving costs on projects to social enterprises creating meaningful work for people with disabilities.

Over the 3 days, Nancy hosted the conference booth and engaged in many interesting conversations with people working in the manufacturing sector. It was an excellent opportunity to spread our ideas and hopes for the future of the industry while promoting the positive impact recycled products and social enterprise make on the circular economy.

Our OCCE team represented the organisation well and are excited to attend the conference next year.