Yas Grigaliunas

Founder and Chief Evangelist, Circonomy

National Finalist in EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2024 Australia

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Circonomy is a certified and award-winning social enterprise with a purpose to create a world without waste including human potential, by mobilising dormant goods and employing neurodiverse team members. In doing so, it aims to reduce the need for new, finite resources, enabling the transition to a net- zero circular economy and foster an inclusive workforce.

The enterprise’s beginnings were modest. To raise funds for a breast cancer charity, Yas Grigaliunas organised a garage sale in Brisbane. The sale, which raised $15,000, turned out to be the first incarnation of the World’s Biggest Garage Sale, an event that occurred annually for the next four years (with one generating $150,000).

Yas founded Circonomy. Building a new business model by developing strategies and partnerships to reuse, resell, remake or recycle, extending the life of a diverse range of things from construction materials, office furniture, electronics and household goods. Circonomy enables consumers of their circular economy marketplace access to affordable quality goods that would have otherwise gone to waste. And they enable their supply partners to measure impact with technology that reports on avoided landfill and in the future, metrics that capture embodied carbon and planetary markers.

The ever-increasing focus of businesses and consumers on sustainability has created a market that is increasing in size.

To date, the company has diverted approximately 4.3 million kg from landfill and has generated over $2 million in societal value by providing employment opportunities to people who would otherwise be overlooked, in the hope of helping them to change their perspectives of themselves.

Yas does not lack ambition: Circonomy's ultimate goal is to create a world without waste – and that includes human potential.