Product Steward is the concept of manufacturers taking responsibility for their products through to end of life. By doing this, it’s hoped manufactures will design products that maximise resource efficiency and reduce long-term waste. In New Zealand, product stewardship is a core principle of central and local governments waste management strategy.
Designing out waste is not necessarily an approach that works for all sectors. Ready-mix concrete is ubiquitous in the built environment. It’s also highly perishable. The economic and environmental costs of under ordering mean the industry has a relatively small, but consistent level of waste.
In this case, the most practical approach is to capture this excess stream of high quality certified ready mix concrete and upcycle it into equally high-quality precast concrete products. These upcycled products are designed in such a way that they can be easily used over and over again. This is the Envirocon Product Stewardship approach. We’re New Zealand’s first and only construction-related product stewardship scheme accredited by the Minister for the Environment under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.