The circular economy not only promises higher profits but supports economic growth
CIOs are missing out on the opportunity to get money back for their used IT equipment. Efficient IT infrastructure life cycle management and secure IT asset disposition (ITAD) can help them maximise value at every stage of their technology investment.
Hanging on to older equipment may not always be in the best interest of a company, especially in terms of operability. This decision typically doesn’t present the cost savings that many businesses expect. It is crucial to consider the total lifecycle costs and to integrate an asset management plan into the decision-making process.
The key lies in the circular economy. It not only promises higher profits but supports sustainability by enabling economic growth with lower resources. The circular economy is about reducing electronic waste by recovering and reusing resources.
It requires changing product designs and production where the e-waste becomes feedstock for new products. It’s not a new concept, but it has received a huge amount of attention as climate change and limited natural resources beome increasingly urgent.
This approach has real benefits for businesses and the planet. Recovering resources through recycling or remanufacturing can result in massive returns, and many businesses have realised increased benefits from making products from electronic waste.
Less than 10 percent of resources that enter the global economy are recycled. The rest is discarded and often replaced with new items. Unlike the linear economy, the circular economy captures the value of old electronics and they don't become waste. For example, discarded phones are full of valuable materials: there is 300 times more gold in a ton of phones than a ton of gold ore.
Manufacturing new electronics is a resource and energy intensive process. For this reason, businesses need a culture-wide rethinking of the way they handle their manufacturing processes and their resources. The circular economy changes this model: it keeps resources in the economic system for longer and at the highest value possible. Electronics keep most of their value when reused or recycled.
Consumers are also starting to embrace the idea of keeping products for longer, reusing products or even purchasing recycled electronics. There is already an opportunity where people no longer need to purchase a phone or upgrade it every so often. When it comes to sustainability in smartphones, innovators like Fairphone have created modular phones that excel in the four areas of production, modularity, longevity, and recyclability.
More CIOs are now embracing circular business models to create more valuable businesses by utilising resources more efficiently and developing superior products and services. Improving asset utilisation by designing products that can be used more than once, can improve margins.
Adopting the circular economy will not only drive increased financial returns, but it will have a positive impact on society and the environment.
by Xperien CEO Wale Arewa