Peak industry group Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA) is calling nominations for its new sustainability committee.
Nominations are invited from importer and retail industry members for the committee, which will provide advice to the BIA board in its efforts to help the bicycle sector achieve its sustainability goals.
“Our initial focus is on the storage, management and recycling of lithium-ion batteries, along with the recycling of rubber,” BIA says in a statement.
“The committee will be responsible for the design and delivery of projects to work with distributors and retailers to improve sustainability outcomes.
“Although the initial focus will be lithium-ion batteries and rubber, the expectation is that other elements including metal and liquid disposal will be included.”
BIA general manager Peter Bourke said industry involvement in finding the solutions was essential to ensure their uptake.
“The industry needs to own this issue. BIA can provide best practice guidelines but the industry is best placed to tell us what is practical, what is achievable and what they are willing to contribute to,” he said.
“Not only are we looking at recycling, we’re also looking at the storage and movement of damaged, waste and other batteries to reduce the risk of any negative outcome on members of the bike industry.”
“People on the ground are also the experts and the people who deal with these issues on a day-to-day basis. They can tell us how to efficiently and effectively deliver the best outcomes.”
The sustainability committee is an initial recommendation from BIA’s own investigations into lithium-ion battery safety, in response to an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issues paper on the issue and fires started by lithium-ion batteries.
Peter said BIA’s investigations are looking at the potential economic benefits of improved management of lithium-ion batteries, including keeping insurance premiums down.
“With such a focus on the potential risks presented by lithium-ion batteries, not only are we looking at recycling, we’re also looking at the storage and movement of damaged, waste and other batteries to reduce the risk of any negative outcome on members of the bike industry,” he said.
‘That includes looking at a fireproof storage solution for damaged batteries in stores. This could form part of guidelines insures could expect stores to achieve to improve insurance premiums.
“In Australia, we have not seen any business-related fires in relation to lithium-ion battery management but internationally there have been a number and, as Australian insurers use international underwriters, international examples and experience impacts what happens with insurance in this country.”
Solutions for Rubber
Peter said the sustainability committee’s work on rubber recycling could bring together ongoing programs by numerous individual companies.
“We’ve been looking for a solution for rubber for a number of years because it is one of the most disposed of products in the industry,” he said.
“A lot of brands are investigating options and by bringing them all together, through scale, we should be able to come up with the best solutions. Drawing together the waste rubber from 100 brands and 900 shops – or even half that – will also achieve a better outcome for the entire industry.
Peter said five to seven industry representatives would provide a good working group for the committee.
“But we’re open to having any number of people who want to put their hand up,” he said.
To nominate or for further information, contact email@example.com or call 0438 871 271.