Green Collect is thrilled to receive the prestigious award of Social Enterprise of the Year, in the ‘small’ enterprise category. The award, an initiative of the Social Traders, recognises Green Collect’s strong business performance as it generates positive outcomes towards environmental and social impact. From an impressive field of over 300 accredited enterprises (and of over 20,000 social enterprises across Australia), to have achieved this outcome is an exciting acknowledgement of what Green Collect has achieved since it was started in 2005.
The award recognises not only an enterprise’s social procurement achievements, but also the strength of its business model. Green Collect’s solid growth in income and financial stability have enabled it to set ambitious targets for the coming years - expanding and deepening its environmental outcomes while also creating supportive and durable jobs for people at disadvantage in the labour market.
From its inception, Green Collect’s focus on reducing waste to landfill has been firm. Today, Green Collect employs over 30 people and focuses on delivering environmental solutions for office waste. They collect the folders, stationery, small electronics and computers that are frequently discarded as offices update or relocate. Last year, the service collected and sorted 125 tonnes of items, saving them from landfill. Items are individually assessed for their best environmental outcome and then either resold in Green Collect’s retail stores, upcycled into new products, or responsibly recycled.
Sally Quinn, CEO, comments: “At Green Collect, we know we do things differently. We show that there are positive solutions to the problem of waste, and that those solutions can also deliver positive outcomes for people. Our workplace is designed around an inclusive model, enabling us to provide work opportunities for people who have previously faced barriers to employment. Through a more caring workplace, we enable people to build the skills they need for long-term work.
Over the years, we’ve become the experts in finding the best environmental outcome for even the most difficult to recycle items. Our passion for saving things from landfill means we put in a considerable amount of time and effort into researching opportunities for the next life, particularly for complex problems like e-waste. We’re always looking for new ways to reuse items, and creative ways to make something new from something old.”
At the Social Traders awards, Green Collect was also a finalist in the ‘Social Procurement Partnership of the Year’, recognising a partnership with Westpac that has led to inclusion in the bank’s supply chain. Westpac Foundation has been a supportive partner of Green Collect, with generous grants enabling further growth in employment opportunities and investment in organisational development.