Friday, 27 April 2018

International Stewardship Forum 2018

Steward Wise at the International Stewardship Forum

Andrea Chmielinski giving a presentation on Circular Economy.

Earlier this month, Steward Wise Principal and Founder, Andrea Chmielinski, embarked on a journey to Australia to participate in the International Stewardship Forum hosted by the Global Product Stewardship Council (GlobalPSC).

Hosted in Sydney, Australia over April 4 - 6, 2018, the Forum brought speakers from Canada, the USA, Europe, South Africa, Asia and Chile to share best practices and experiences from their home countries. 

Andrea gave three talks from a millennial Canadian perspective:
  • The Business Case for EPR: From "Cost and Risk Reduction" to "Synergistic Value Creation" 
  • EPR Programs in Canada for Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment (consumer electronics, batteries, fluorescent and other light bulbs, and small and large appliances)
  • Circular Economy in Action: Grassroots efforts and social enterprise models in Canada 

The International Stewardship Forum was a platform for GlobalPSC and the Australia Government Department of Environment and Energy to gain practical insights from product stewardship and extended producer responsibility programs across a broad range of products and substances.

The forum was hosted and supported by the Australian Government in order to inform the review of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and comprised of two days of presentations, panel discussions and question periods on 4-5 April 2018, followed by one day of exclusive invitation-only modified Chatham House discussions.

The topics up for discussion were Circular Economy, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), product stewardship, plastic pollution and Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment (WEEE). The official main themes were:

  • Overview of the international landscape and practical implications for Australia 
  • Best practice policies and programs 
  • The business case for product stewardship (corporate perspective) 
  • Engagement and facilitation 
  • The future of product stewardship: issues and opportunities (including Circular Economy). 
Key takeaways, content from Andrea's talks and more are coming soon... so watch your inbox!

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Happy International Woman's Day!

"All the things I love is what my business is all about." - Martha Stewart

Steward Wise Principal and Founder Andrea Chmielinski will be writing this piece.

International Women's Day has never been so exhilarating for me. When I was employed full time, I was not satisfied. I was not satisfied with the pace of change for good. I was not satisfied by the status quo requirements that governed business decisions. These decisions, guided mainly by traditional marketing strategy, create immense amounts of wasted materials and resources. This is not a reflection on any of the individuals with whom I worked with closely. Wasted materials and resources are always caused by a complex system of business decision makers, priority setters, and organizational leaders that set the pace for change and set the standards for product and packaging selection.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

Despite the fear, despite the security of full-time employment, I realized that change had to start with me. When faced with resistance, I realized that change from the inside was not a battle that I wanted to continue. So, instead of accepting the resistance and falling into line, I changed my attitude. I decided I could influence decision makers from the outside. I decided I could achieve a life-time goal of starting my own business, and I decided I could achieve this goal before turning 30.

"Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart

Less than a year later, I am happy to report that Steward Wise is up and running, profitable, and helping Canadian business understand what environmental stewardship is all about. I have never been so happy to wake up each morning and get to work. I can't even believe it, but I have been invited to speak at the International Stewardship Forum about topics from my repertoire of knowledge. I will be speaking about traditional resource management (stewardship) programs, but am also happy to report that I have been given the opportunity to share the ideas and concepts being put to the test by other new Canadian ventures. The entrepreneurs I will be speaking about are the change makers. They are young, they are visionary, and yes, some of them are female. I am so excited to share their stories and ideas on the international stage. Hint:  most are involved in developing business models for the "circular economy." I can't wait.

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” – Nancy Rathburn

I hope this short story inspires you to change your own attitude today. If you have experienced fear, resistance, or discrimination, today is a day for you to stand up for yourself as a woman, or to stand up for your Mom, sister, partner, or daughter and face the reality of today's world. Yes, the Women's March and #metoo movements have pushed women's issues to the forefront of popular culture, but never underestimate the power of YOUR decisions, talents, gifts and contributions!

Have a great International Women's Day!

Andrea Chmielinski
Principal and Founder
Steward Wise

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