About Us

The Australian Bedding Stewardship Council (ABSC) was established to expand on the provisional product stewardship scheme originating in 2016.

Approximately 1.8 million mattresses are disposed of each year.

Placed end-to-end they would stretch from Darwin to the tip of Tasmania. Many of them end up in landfill and some even on our streets.

The Australian Bedding Stewardship Council (ABSC) is a not-for-profit, industry partnership established to tackle this problem.

By working with Government of all levels, supply chain, manufacturers, retailers and recyclers it seeks to move towards a circular economy for mattresses and bedding products.Mattresses cause significant issues in landfill – they take up valuable space, can cause fires and subsidence, and it means that non-renewable resources are being buried and could take hundreds of years to break down. There is also a consistent problem of illegal dumping by the community because mattresses are a bulky, heavy item that is difficult to dispose of. All this leads to unsafe landfills, unsightly kerbsides and loss of resources.

The ABSC is the answer.

We’re working on solutions that make recycling easy for consumers, so they can share the responsibility for their used mattress. We work with supply chain and manufacturers to utilise inputs that work towards a circular economy for mattresses and bedding. We engage with retailers to drive appropriate recycling of mattresses being replaced by new purchases. We work with mattress recyclers to maximise diversion outcomes, research new recycling opportunities and support sustainable jobs.

The ABSC Team

The ABSC team brings together people with a shared commitment to drive positive outcomes for the bedding industry in Australia. While coming from diverse backgrounds, their combined experience spans across procurement and manufacturing, sustainable and strategic business practices, project development and implementation, waste recovery and management, education, textiles, product development and compliance, and marketing.

  • Vernon Fair

    CEO

    Vernon Fair

    CEO

    In 2016, Vernon was an inaugural member of the Executive Committee of the Soft Landing Stewardship Scheme, a product stewardship scheme aimed at getting mattresses out of landfill and off our streets.

    Vernon joined the ABSC in November 2020 and comes to the role with a depth of experience in the bedding industry from manufacturing to innovation, strategic development and governance. He has shown a long-term commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of the industry’s products and a desire to support recyclers providing jobs that have high positive social impact.

    “I am both excited and privileged by this opportunity, to be part of something so worthwhile and important, not only to our industry but also our environment. I hope, and expect, that as an enterprise the ABSC will make a real difference, and become recognised for what it represents and stands for.”

  • Janelle Wallace

    Program Manager

    Janelle Wallace

    Program Manager

    Janelle has been a consultant for 21 years specialising in business improvement and sustainability including – strategy development, change management, project development and implementation. She has been a long-term panel member for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage Program and facilitator of the Responsible Construction Leadership Group, and holds a Masters in International Business. Her experience spans television, loyalty programs for airlines, banks and oil companies, construction, engineering and hospitality and, of course, sustainability.

    Janelle has been working with the bedding industry and Community Resources Limited (founding Product Stewardship Organisation) for 8 years as General Manager of the Soft Landing Product Stewardship Scheme and leads its further development as Recycle My Mattress. She has been key in gaining industry support for a coordinated approach to reducing the environmental impacts for the bedding industry. Janelle has been pivotal to the development of the program and its extensive range of stakeholders from government and councils, to the Board and industry, with related charities and at international forums.

  • Tracey Pryor

    Lifecycle Innovation Manager

    Tracey Pryor

    Lifecycle Innovation Manager

    Tracey Pryor has a long history in the textiles industry both garment and household, including mattress ticking in both corporate and SME organisations. Her experience throughout the entire chain of events required to bring products to market, has provided Tracey with hands on experience in sourcing, production, design and product development, testing and compliance and, commercialisation through marketing and sales. Most recently, Tracey has experienced first hand that these skills are transferable to other industries, working on product research and development for acoustic and thermal insulation for building and construction, taking waste from landfill and converting it to new products with longevity.

    Tracey’s international exposure and post graduate in management coupled with her personal passion for innovation, sustainable business practices and recycling, she is using her experience to support a circular economy approach by finding ways to recycle and upcycle waste and to develop products with the end goal in mind; to keep resources in use for as long as possible and reduce depletion. Tracey believes that businesses large and small can have a positive impact on sustainability for people and planet which will reap economic rewards for their businesses as well.

  • Jane Street

    Stakeholder Relations

    Jane Street

    Stakeholder Relations

    Jane joins the ABSC team from Redcliffe, QLD in our new (part time) Stakeholder Relations role and is responsible for managing our stakeholder engagement and membership activity. Jane has diverse engagement, education and project management experience across the waste and resource recovery industry, health and transport. Collaboration is key to Jane’s approach in designing authentic stakeholder engagement strategies and delivering genuine partnership projects.

    Jane has designed and delivered engagement strategies and grant programs with Industry to enable product development and product specifications for recovered materials and delivered online engagement platforms, training and learning and development programs.

The ABSC Board

The ABSC Board seeks to ensure, on behalf of all Scheme members that it takes a sustainable, whole of life approach to mattresses, with end-of-life management offering employment opportunities throughout the community. With the continued project leadership by Janelle Wallace, and support from Vernon Fair as the new CEO of the Australian Bedding Stewardship Council, the Board looks forward to the successful implementation of an industry-led product stewardship scheme at the local, regional, state and federal levels.

  • Michael Hunt

    Chair

    Michael Hunt

    Chair
    Managing Director, Former Thermotec

    Michael has over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing and distribution companies at a local and International level. Previous executive and board experience includes; Deputy Chairman, Macquarie Community College; Managing Director, Grief Packaging International – Asia Pacific & China; President & Secretary Blow Moulders Institute; and President & Secretary Drum & Can Makers Institute.

    Michael has extensive experience in jointly setting the strategy, innovation, process development, distribution and collection, for “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” programs. These include DrumMuster, a long-running product stewardship scheme, and other national recycling schemes.

  • Garry Beard

    Deputy Chair

    Garry Beard

    Deputy Chair
    Chairman & Managing Director, A.H.Beard

    Garry has 45 years bedding experience and is Chairman & Managing Director of A.H.Beard Pty Ltd.

    Garry was a key driver for the establishment of an industry supported program to create better environmental and social outcomes from end-of-life mattresses. He is passionately considering the whole of life impacts of the company’s products from both an environmental and social perspective.

  • David Wood

    Treasurer

    David Wood

    Treasurer
    Chief Operating Officer, Sealy of Australia

    After 15 years of senior executive experience in Professional Services (PwC and Deloitte) in both Australia and United Kingdom David brings a wealth of bedding industry experience across all operational activities to the Executive Committee. He has been in senior management at Sealy of Australia for 15 years including as Chief Financial Officer and now Chief Operating Officer.

    David joined the Executive Committee in 2019 and also sits on the Scheme Working Group.

  • Janelle Wallace

    Director

    Janelle Wallace

    Director

    Janelle has been a consulting business owner for 21 years in business improvement and sustainability including strategy development, change management, project development and implementation. She has been a long term panel member for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage program and facilitator of the Responsible Construction Leadership Group and holds a Masters in International Business.

    Janelle has been working with the bedding industry and Community Resources Limited (founding Product Stewardship Organisation) for 8 years as General Manager of the Soft Landing Product Stewardship Scheme and leads its further development as Recycle My Mattress.

  • Michael Mecham

    Director

    Michael Mecham

    Director
    Corporate Compliance Officer, Harvey Norman

    Michael has worked in retail for 26 years across a variety of frontline and support positions. Currently Michael is the Corporate Compliance Officer for Harvey Norman, providing thorough understanding of regulatory compliance matters within retail. He is also the head of non-inventory procurement for Harvey Norman. Within this role and previous roles at Woolworths Limited, Michael developed strategy, procuring services and implementation of vendors into categories including waste management.

    Michael has been involved with sustainability planning and reporting, and leads the ABSC logistics working group.

  • Simon Beaty

    Director

    Simon Beaty

    Director
    Managing Director, Snooze

    Simon has 42 years retail experience, 36 of those in national retail franchise businesses. He joined Snooze in 2008 as the Managing Director, driving the reinvigoration and growth of the Snooze brand. Simon is highly experienced in retail operations, logistics, Franchising and franchise business development. He has first-hand experience of both owning and managing franchise stores and managing and growing a national retail chain.

    Simon’s current and past board experience includes the Snooze/G&G Furniture Board, Steinhoff Bedding Board and is currently the Chair of 2 NFP organisations, South East Volunteers and ChrimCheck.

What is Product Stewardship?

Product Stewardship starts with good design and responsible product development.

  • Reduced waste generation
  • Improve resources productivity
  • Sustainable re-use

Product stewardship is important because it drives improved outcomes; to innovate and create better products for both consumers and the environment, and to ensure a positive, sustainable future for our industry and future generations. As governments move towards polluter-pays models, and bans on export of waste materials increases, innovation and positive environmental outcomes become essential for businesses to not only survive but to thrive.

How does product stewardship work?

We are all in bed together. All jokes aside, product stewardship is about working together to build expertise, educate, innovate, share ideas and opportunities. ABSC works with industry members here in Australia and experts overseas. We also engage with universities, researchers, and other product stewardship schemes globally. The research, insights, ideas, and knowledge we build will be shared with our members to help them innovate and improve environmental impacts and outcomes for everyone.

The opening of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence at Parliament House in March 2021. From left to right: Janelle Wallace, Trevor Evans (Assistant Minister), Karinne Taylor (Manager Environmental Projects City of Sydney) and Vernon Fair.

“Product stewardship requires producers and retailers to better manage the impacts of products and material streams through their lifecycle.”

- Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, 2021

What?

Reduce the environmental and health impacts of [our] products throughout their 
life cycle.

Why?

Climate change, maximising use of precious resources, protecting our environment and our wildlife and improving social outcomes.

Who?

Anyone who designs, manufactures, imports, sells and uses products shares responsibility and can have the biggest influence.

Our Mission

The Australian Bedding Stewardship Scheme is an industry initiative to reduce the number of end of life mattresses going into landfill. It provides a transparent, customer orientated recycling network in partnership with accredited social enterprises that assist people who are experiencing disadvantage to enter the workforce. It takes a life cycle approach to sustainability by ensuring that mattresses are designed and manufactured to minimise material use and maximise the responsible recovery of materials at end of life.

Our Vision

A responsible, sustainable bedding industry.

Our Values

Our values are authenticity and integrity in everything we do; shared responsibility for the life cycle environmental management of our products; shared value for our customers, for the community and for the environment; and to ensure, that as an industry, we do the right thing.

Industry Objectives

The Australian Bedding Stewardship Council (ABSC) was established to expand on the product stewardship scheme established in 2016. ABSC is continuing the development and implementation of a whole of lifecycle approach for mattresses and bedding that is supported by the bedding industry.

Recycle My Mattress is administered by ABSC, and is designed to increase resource recovery and the diversion of waste from landfill to minimise the environmental, health and safety impacts of end-of-life (EOL) mattresses and bedding products and accessories. Through the diversion and supply of EOL mattresses to the Scheme’s accredited mattress recycling facilities, the Scheme, where possible, prioritises the creation of sustainable employment opportunities for people who have experienced barriers to employment, and in doing so, benefits the economic health and wellbeing of the community as a whole.