Guidelines for eligibility and applying for Circular Economy Business Support Fund – Stream 2: Implementation grants.
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This grant closed on 12 March 2021. View the fund recipients.
The $10 million Recycling Victoria Business Support Fund (“Fund”) will support both individual businesses (including not-for-profits and charities) and business-led groups (including trade and industry associations) to identify, develop and implement circular economy approaches within businesses or across supply chains and sectors. The Fund will primarily target waste prevention and reuse/remanufacture. Innovative recycling approaches will also be supported, where they develop new recycling markets in Victoria.
The Fund will be delivered under two streams of funding to support the Recycling Victoria funding program.
Stream 1: Identification Grants
Grants of $75,000 to $200,000 will be made available to support businesses to investigate how to apply and adapt circular economy business opportunities and approaches.
Stream 2: Implementation Grants
Grants of $100,000 up to $500,000 for individual applicants, or up to $1,000,000 for Collaborative Partnerships (with a Lead Applicant and Project Partners) seeking to implement solutions across multiple businesses. These grants will support the business to implement evidence-based circular economy business opportunities and approaches in Victoria, for example, new circular economy-based products, services, markets and models.
The grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.
Applications must be submitted by 3:00 pm on 12 March 2021.Late applications will not be accepted unless exceptional circumstances apply.
Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of the system.
“Recycling Victoria: A new economy” aims to deliver the Fund to help businesses improve resource efficiency, reduce waste to landfill, increase recycling and reduce business costs. Victorian businesses are not capitalising on the scale and scope of circular economy business opportunities.
The grants will kick-start Victoria’s circular economy by providing support for businesses to identify and implement circular economy opportunities and approaches, including new circular economy-based products, services, models and markets.
Importantly, the Fund will support the early identification and implementation of circular economy opportunities in Victorian businesses, to help the Victorian government and business community evaluate and promote the success of these opportunities. This will help accelerate independent action from businesses to take advantage of the circular economy in, and through, their businesses.
The Fund’s objective is for businesses to:
The grants seek to deliver the following outcomes for Victoria:
Grants of $75,000 to $200,000 will be made available to projects seeking to adapt and apply circular economy opportunities and approaches. Successful stream 1 projects can apply for funding to implement opportunities and approaches under stream 2.
Eligible applicants are required to contribute to the project at a funding ratio of $2:$1 (SV:business). Up to 50% of the applicant’s co-contribution can be in-kind (for further explanation of in-kind refer to section 9: Fund definitions).
These grants are targeting projects that seek to undertake:
Any of the following organisation types may apply for an individual grant:
Alternatively, organisations may apply as a Lead Applicant in a Collaborative Partnership. Each Collaborative Partnership application must have:
Grants are available with a minimum of $100,000 and up to a maximum of $500,000 for individual applicants or up to $1,000,000 for Collaborative Partnerships seeking to implement solutions across multiple businesses. These grants will support the business to implement circular economy opportunities and approaches in, or through, Victorian businesses.
Eligible applicants are required to contribute to the project at a funding ratio of $1:$1 (SV:business). Up to 10% of the applicant’s co-contribution can be in-kind (for further explanation of in-kind refer to section 9: Fund definitions).
These grants are targeting projects that seek to:
Importantly, the project should demonstrate a clear and thorough understanding of the circular economy opportunity, backed by evidence, before applying for an Implementation Grant.
Where projects are based on adopting and applying an established circular economy business opportunity (that is, an existing circular economy business model, product, service or market), the applicant is required to demonstrate its feasibility for implementation (for example, replicating a successful international opportunity or approach in a Victorian business) in Victoria.
Stream 1: Identification Grants can be used to support:
Stream 2: Implementation Grants can be used to support:
Funding will not be provided for:
Stream 1 Identification Grants will not be provided for:
Stream 2 Implementation Grants will not be provided for:
Applicants must meet all the following compliance criteria to be considered for progression to eligibility. These will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.
Applicants are not able to be funded if they do not meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants cannot progress to merit assessment unless all eligibility criteria are met. To be eligible for funding applicants must:
Any of the following organisation types can apply for individual grants:
A coordinated group of businesses can apply for a grant as a Collaborative Partnership, with one organisation taking a lead role as the Lead Applicant.
Each Collaborative Partnership application must have:
Note: Lead Applicants will have responsibility over the delivery of the project deliverables and contractual requirements under SV’s funding agreement and be subject to due diligence checks. They are also responsible for the Collaborative Partnership responsibilities, so will need to have the capability to undertake these tasks. Project Partners depending on the activities undertaken may be subject to due diligence checks by SV. The relevant requirements for Lead Applicants and Project Partners will be highlighted in the grant's Information bulletin and reiterated at Grant Information Sessions. Project Partners’ experience, resources and capabilities are tested through the criteria related to ‘Who’.
The Lead Applicant and Project Partners must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN).
Length of operation
Stream 1 Identification Grants:
Stream 2 Implementation Grants:
Meet or exceed the minimum co-contribution requirement for funding:
Note: The applicant’s or Collaborative Partnership’s required cash and/or in-kind contribution relates to the total project income. Co-contribution can be provided by the Lead Applicant and/or the Project Partners.
Note: Where project activities occur outside of Victoria, the project will need to deliver the minimum required benefits to Victorian businesses as outlined in these Guidelines (for example, reduce waste generation by 750 tonnes in a Victorian business).
The funding objective is to:
Applicants must demonstrate how the project meets Recycling Victoria policy and SV’s strategic objectives:
Increase awareness of circular economy opportunities and benefits to businesses in Victoria.
Identify and develop circular economy-based opportunities and approaches, ready for businesses to implement, where implementation will lead to reduced waste or materials intensity, or increased processing capacity.
Implement circular economy-based business opportunities and approaches (e.g. circular products, services, models and markets) that lead to reduced waste or materials intensity or increased processing capacity.
Increase uptake of circular economy approaches by business, to accelerate Victoria’s transition to a circular economy.
The individual applicant, or Lead Applicant and Project Partners, can deliver the project and has the capability (skills) and capacity (resources) to deliver the project.
The applicant demonstrates why the project is needed and to what extent it will achieve the desired outcomes and supports Victorian businesses to take advantage of circular economy opportunities.
The project is commercial, feasible and capable of being delivered
SV may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects that represent a:
The grants seek to encourage diverse projects including, but not limited to:
A risk-based approach will be used to assess the applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the project. This assessment will include the applicant’s Related Entities and may include Project Partners (see section 9: Fund definitions).
Applicants (and their Related Entities and if applicable their Project Partners) should:
Assessment of a satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to SV’s consideration of:
SV may conduct due diligence checks on the Project Partners involved in the delivery of the project. The applicant must ensure that any Project Partners(s) agree to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at SV’s request.
SV reserves the right not to award funding to applicants where the due diligence risk (including that of Project Partners) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.
Successful applicants approved for funding must:
Applicants should note that capital works signage is required for projects over $250,000. It is recommended applicants consider this in their proposed budget.
LJF creates opportunities for local businesses and workers. It aims to develop the local industry and grow the next generation of skilled workers in Victoria.
Grant recipients are subject to LJF when the Victorian Government contribution (value of the grant) meets the LJF monetary thresholds of $1 million for regional projects.
It is recommended applicants consider this in their application.
Please note: these timelines are indicative only and may change.
Applications open – 20 November 2020
Applications close – 3:00 pm, 12 March 2021
Notification of outcome – 21 July 2021SV will provide applicants with updates about the progress of their applications as much as possible but cannot provide a definite approval /announcement date.
Funding agreements established by – 11 October 2021
Projects commenced by – 11 November 2021
Applicants should review and follow these steps:
Submitting your application:
At our information sessions, we go through the fund and answer participants’ questions about it.
Past sessionsGo to the Information bulletin for:
Future sessionsTo check if there is a session coming up, see Events.
Email email@example.com with Circular Economy Business Support Grants in the subject line.
Alternatively, for more information, view the Information bulletin.
These are the definitions of the terms used in these Guidelines.
Circular Economy: Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of the system. The Recycling Victoria: A new economy policy describes a circular economy as follows:
“A circular economy continually seeks to reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption, while enabling economic growth through more productive use of natural resources.
It allows us to avoid waste with good design and effective recovery of materials that can be reused.
It promotes more efficient business models that encourage intense and efficient product use, such as sharing products between multiple users or supplying a product as a service that includes maintenance, repair and disposal.
The value people obtain from the resources used to create goods and services increases.
It transforms our linear economy mindset—take, use and throw away—and fosters innovation and productivity that invigorates existing businesses and creates new ones, delivering more jobs and more growth for local, regional, state and global economies.”
Charity: A Charity is an organisation that is not-for-profit and has only charitable purposes that are for the public benefit. A Charity must not be an individual, political party or government entity, and be registered on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.
Co-contribution: The applicant’s required cash or in-kind contribution to the total project income.
Collaborative Partnerships: A relationship with businesses established to meet common project objectives and outcomes.
Collaborative Partnerships will need to be demonstrated by a formal agreement between the partners that outlines the governance, financial and intellectual property arrangements and roles and responsibilities of each party. A formal agreement must either be in place or be finalised before commencement of the project.
Direct Jobs: Actual new full-time positions created by your business. This can include training or upskilling of employees who would otherwise be made redundant through the implementation of your project.
Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breach: An environmental or safety breach is any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or Fair Work Ombudsman or failure to comply with any environmental, safety and workplace laws.
Environmental and Safety Laws: Environmental and safety laws are the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 1970 or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, or any other aspect of protection of the environment.
Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE): The hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis.
The calculation is used to convert the hours worked by several part-time employees into the hours worked by full-time employees. For example, you have three employees working the following – 40, 40 and 20 hours per week giving you 100 hours per week in total.
Assuming full-time hours are 40 hours per week, your full-time equivalent calculation is 100 hours divided by 40 hours which equals 2.5 FTE.
Indirect Jobs: Jobs created by other businesses that come into existence due to the economic growth of your business.
Individual business: A commercial enterprise seeking to generate profit through its activities, including Social Enterprises.
Industry groups and associations: An industry peak body, representative industry association or group, or an industry-owned Rural Research and Development Corporation (industry-owned companies).
In-kind contribution: An in-kind contribution is a contribution of a good or service other than money.
In-kind contributions may include, but are not limited to:
Financial contributions (not in-kind) may include, but are not limited to:
The following activities cannot be considered in-kind contributions:
Lead Applicant: The Lead Applicant is the listed applicant for an application and is responsible for all details in the submission of an application. The Lead Applicant will be responsible for the contractual obligations of the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.
The Lead Applicant is also responsible for managing the project outcomes and deliverables of the Collaborative Partnership.
Materials intensity: Refers to the amount of materials used in a product, service or model. For these Grants, reducing materials intensity means to reduce the amount or volume of materials used in a product, service or model, to produce a given number of goods or services (output). Another way of considering this is increasing the materials efficiency of a product, which means reducing the input and waste of resources to accomplish the desired output. Materials efficiency is the fundamental reduction in the amount of wasted resources that are used to produce a given number of goods or services (output).
Other not-for-profit organisation: An organisation that provides services to the community and does not seek to generate profit through its activities (either direct or indirect). For this grant program, the definition of Other not-for-profit organisation does not include a charity or an industry group or association.
Project Partner: Organisation/s in a Collaborative Partnership with a Lead Applicant that have a critical role in the project and a formal commitment to delivering the support required to ensure the project’s success.
The role of Project Partners will need to be demonstrated by a formal agreement between relevant parties and will outline the roles and responsibilities of each party, such as governance, financial or intellectual property arrangements. A formal agreement must either be in place or be finalised before commencement of the project.
Related Entities: Entities which are related to the applicant and includes:
Related Persons: Related Person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the applicant or a Related Entity.
Research and Development (R&D): R&D activities are experimental activities that are conducted to generate new knowledge or the use of existing knowledge in creative and new ways (including about creating new knowledge or improved materials, products, devices, processes or services
Research Institution: A Research Institution can be a tertiary education institution, a government agency established for research, a Cooperative Research Centre, an Institute or Centre for Research or a privately owned and accredited research facility. Consultancies and industry-owned Rural Research & Development Corporations are not considered to be research institutions for this grants program.
Re-use: A process defined as using a product more than once in its original form, for the same purpose or a different purpose, by buying or otherwise obtaining second-hand items; renting or accessing products through a sharing platform; and/or repairing products rather than discarding and purchasing a replacement.
Remanufacture: A comprehensive and rigorous industrial process by which a previously sold, leased, used, worn, or non-functional product or part is returned to a “like-new” or “better-than-new” condition, from both a quality and performance perspective, through a controlled, reproducible, and sustainable process (ANSI Standard).
Redistribution: A process whereby surplus un-used products (often food) that would otherwise have ended up as waste are, instead, made available for people to use or consume. In the circular economy, redistribution is similar to ‘re-use’ however this definition is not suitable for food and other products that have not yet been used or may only be used a single time (e.g. collecting unsold bread from a bakery and redistributing it to people in need).
Recycling: Typically refers to converting waste into a reusable material. It is a term that may be used to cover a wide range of activities, including collection, sorting, reprocessing and manufacture into new products. For these Grants, a recycling-based project cannot replicate a recycling solution currently operating in Victoria.
Risks associated with climate change: Risks may include extreme weather events, sea-level rise and storm surge, increased fire danger and reduced rainfall. The planning for the development of new infrastructure or the upgrading of existing infrastructure is an appropriate time to examine the associated risks. Risks will also arise from the impact of climate change to infrastructure which may be beyond the boundaries of the facility and may influence its location or siting. For example, an increase in flooding may impact a facility for which the access requires passage over low lying roads. For more information, applicants may wish to refer to climate change information and resources at Climate Change in Australia and Victorian climate projections 2019 published by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and CSIRO.
Social Enterprise: A social enterprise is an organisation that is driven by a public or community cause, be it social, environmental, cultural or economic. A social enterprise derives most of its income from trade, not donations or grants, and uses the majority (at least 50%) of its profits to work towards its social mission. A social enterprise is considered an individual business for the purposes of these Grants.
Upcycle: Refers to the use of secondary products, components or materials that results in a higher economic value of that material.
Workplace Laws: Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009, or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the provision of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions for all persons and to prevent discrimination against employees.