Boosting the impact of an environmental leader

Reverse Garbage

Reverse Garbage Strategic Plan

Reverse Garbage was established in 1975 by a group of teachers and community workers determined to divert industrial discards from landfill and reuse those materials in their classrooms.

45 years later, Reverse Garbage is an internationally recognised environmental co-operative committed to promoting sustainability through the reuse of materials and a stalwart organisation in the inner west of Sydney.

In 2020, despite global uncertainty from the then-unfamiliar COVID-19 pandemic and the continued impacts of climate change – and facing the possibility of having to leave their long-term home in Marrickville’s Addison Road Precinct – the Reverse Garbage board, along with its CEO, wanted to leverage its strong financial position and plan ahead to develop a blueprint for the future.

Cred Consulting were engaged to provide low-bono consultancy support for the board to develop a 10-year strategic plan.

How we did it

Reverse Garbage is a values-driven organisation, with a passionate and committed volunteer board. Understanding this, Cred designed and delivered an engaging and interactive planning workshop with the board and CEO to help develop the long-term plan that first identified an agreed set of values. These values – resourceful, community centred and inspiring – were used to develop a philosophy and vision for the organisation; strategic intent; and a series of long, medium and short-term actions to achieve the vision.

The workshop was created to let the board do the heavy lifting in developing the long-term plan. Cred’s role following the workshop was to bring all the information together so it made strategic sense as a plan. This meant that the plan that was presented back to the board for their approval had no surprises. It reflected back to them everything that they had agreed on during the 4-hour workshop, in a logical way – making for a fast approval process, which was important to the time-poor volunteer board.

A workshop with notes and post-its displayed

Workshopping with the Reverse Garbage leadership team

The outcome

The Reverse Garbage Strategic Plan 2020-2030 is underpinned with a sense of positivity and hopefulness. It is a plan that builds on the success, good-will and respect the organisation has developed over the past 45 years and move it into a future that is self- determined, community centred and sustainable.

Cred was able to guide the board through a process that reflected on the past to design their future and prepare a 10-year strategic plan that not only represents the joy the organisation brings to the community through the graphic design, but that reflects the values and intent of the board and myriad of volunteers who make this such a special organisation.

Reverse Garbage now has a succinct blueprint that will help them in furthering their financial position through grants, philanthropy and expanded services as well as negotiate its future location and priority actions.