Putting IT on the sustainability agenda

Every year, major companies like Apple and Samsung deliver their eagerly awaited new product announcements.

Their loyal fans respond by ditching their “old” devices in favour of the latest model, knowing that the next advance is only a few months away!
New technology can be very enticing for consumers, but this endless desire for the newest product creates enormous amounts of waste.
For decades, the IT industry has built economies on the principle of ever-faster turnover, harnessing the power of marketing to encourage consumers to believe that the sooner they replace their devices, the better.
Today, we are waking up to the fact that this approach, which applies to almost every piece of technology we consume, is no longer viable.
It’s time to look for a more sustainable model that is better for businesses, end users and the planet.


The circular economy – a viable alternative

Circfular economy diagramThe need to look beyond the linear industrial model, often referred to as ‘Take, Make & Dispose’, is now well accepted even as we become painfully aware of its damaging effects upon our increasingly fragile world.

Thankfully, there is a much more sustainable approach growing in use, known as ‘The Circular Economy’. This is an alternative, more progressive approach that builds economic, natural and social capital through restoration and regeneration.
A circular economy focuses on maintaining the value of products, materials and resources through a combination of reuse, recycling and remanufacturing.
As a result, the consumption of raw materials and the production of waste are significantly reduced or even eliminated.


The circular economy is already here

The need to look beyond the linear industrial model often referred to as ‘Take, Make & Dispose’, is now well accepted even as we become painfully aware of its damaging effects upon our increasingly fragile world.

18% recovered materials

Accenture Strategy reports that 94% of companies surveyed adopt elements of circular supply chains, with 44% citing ‘recycling’ as a priority2. These positive figures demonstrate the policies already being implemented by leading enterprises who recognise their social responsibility.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Much more value can and will be released when more organisations actively incorporate the principles of waste elimination, reuse and refurbishment into their supply chains.
Currently only 18% of companies are reusing or remanufacturing recovered materials. A 2015 study by the Club of Rome says that by 20303, carbon emissions could be cut by almost 70% if a critical set of circular economy policy measures were adopted. This still rings true today but we need to commit more to these principles.
One of the major contributors to this reduction in carbon consumption will come from the concept of resource efficiency.
This concept embodies the creation of new industrial systems that actively enable the power of reuse, remanufacturing and recycling.
The result is a decoupling of our current dependency on the endless consumption of raw materials and production of unsustainable levels of waste.

2. https://www.accenture.com/nl-en/_acnmedia/PDF-49/Accenture-Full-Circle-POV.pdf
3. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/15/circular-economy-jobs-climate-carbon-emissions-eutaxation

Good for our consumers, good for our planet

Recognising your organisation’s environmental impact will have a positive effect on both customers and employees.

When it comes to purchase behaviour, it’s become abundantly clear that people care. In fact, the majority (73%) of global consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.4
81% of global respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment.5

As a result of this growing bank of evidence, which shows that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the ethics of the businesses they buy from, demonstrable environmental and social responsibility is now high on every CEO’s agenda.

Remanufacuring explained

4. https://nielseniq.com/global/en/insights/analysis/2019/a-natural-rise-in-sustainability-around-theworld/
5. https://nielseniq.com/global/en/insights/analysis/2018/global-consumers-seek-companies-thatcare-

Much more than recycling

While the linear economy concentrates on the extraction, consumption and disposal of materials, the circular economy takes a much longer-term view.

It starts with the aim of using as few resources as possible during manufacture.

Then it considers how to keep those resources in circulation for as long as possible while extracting the maximum value from them throughout their life cycle. Ease of dismantling, repairability and remanufacture and built-in at the design stage.

When the product finally comes to the end of its “normal” lifespan, a circular economy approach seeks to recover, repurpose and regenerate those products, thereby significantly extending their service life.

The world has the best chance of avoiding dangerous climate change by moving to a circular economy, thereby enabling countries to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Action.

This is the key finding of The Circularity Gap Report 2019, released by the Circle Economy, a group supported by UN Environment and the Global Environment Facility.

The report highlights the scope of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by applying circular principles – notably re-using, remanufacturing, and re-cycling – to key sectors. It comments that most governments barely consider circular economy measures in policies aimed at meeting the Paris Agreement targets.

The report also finds that the global economy is only 9% circular – just 9% of the 92.8 billion tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter the economy are re-used annually. Climate change and material use are closely linked. Circle Economy calculates that 62% of global greenhouse gas emissions (excluding those from land use and forestry) are released during the extraction, processing and manufacturing of goods to serve society’s needs; only 38% are emitted in the delivery and use of products and services.

Yet global use of materials is accelerating, it has more than tripled since 1970 and could double again by 2050 without action, according to the UN International Resource Panel.

Remanufactired Vs. Refurbished

Contact us to find out more and see the range of models currently available.