With repeated warnings in the media about the threat of climate change, and evidence from around the world that the effects are already being felt, there is no question of the need for urgent action and the need to promote a circular economy.
As consumers, many of us are already making small changes to lessen our environmental impact – adapting the way we work, shop, eat and travel. For many of you reading, it will be your remit to guide your employer and colleagues to adopt more sustainable practices, too.
For us at ICT Reverse it is something we have many years has years of experience in an can offer you guidance and solution.
Businesses and organisations have a vital role to play in driving that shift, evolving from the traditional linear economic model – that sees us take resources, make new products, use them briefly, and then waste them – to a circular model, in which products and materials are valued and made to last.
The expectation on businesses to do so is growing. More and more consumers are demanding that brands offer them sustainable options, as well as operating within the limits of the environment themselves. Meanwhile companies are increasingly realising they need to act now to protect their operations against future climate shocks.
Evolving a more circular economy is the best tool we have to end our throwaway culture and mitigate the worst effects of climate change. And what’s more, it has benefits not just for the environment but for forward-thinking businesses too.
Moving to a more circular model can open up new avenues for business and help companies meet their ESG objectives. At scale, circular business models can also create new, skilled jobs which bring local benefit and improved resilience. Circularity also safeguards against future raw resource shortages and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that are embedded into materials during their lifetime.
Now is the time for impactful action, and for businesses to step up and take the lead.
In efforts to create sustainable, cost-efficient business processes, many business leaders around the world are increasingly asking about practices that support the circular economy. What is it? How can organisations tap into the potential of circular economies? Is a circular economy model aligned with the current and future goals of the organisation?
Here, we will take a look at which practices can support a circular economy.
What is a Circular Economy?
A circular economy is a model that considers the production and consumption of goods and services while reducing or eliminating the unnecessary use of resources. Compare this to a typical product-life factor, still widely used today, which is a linear model. The linear model revolves around a “take, make, dispose” mindset whereby raw materials, often scarce, are extracted from the earth, processed and manufactured into products, sold and consumed, then disposed of in a landfill.
The circular economy, first popularised in the 1970s, aims to make the most efficient use of resources possible in a ‘closed-loop’ system. What would normally be wasted at the end of the product’s lifespan can – with the efficient use of resources, re-use, recycling, and remarketing the product – be diverted from landfills and instead be reintroduced into the stream. In summary, the circular economy instead uses a “make, use, recycle” mindset that is sustainable and makes more efficient use of scarce resources.
The Circular Economy Model in Practice
Bringing theory into practice, many industries around the world and global corporations have begun adopting practices supporting a circular economy. Naturally, how one organisation can implement a circular economy can differ drastically depending on the type of product or service they offer as well as their existing infrastructure for supporting a circular economy (or lack thereof).
Many examples exist, such as the efforts undertaken by the textile industry to combat the rampant overconsumption of fashion items and their subsequent waste, a theme that this year’s Love Island viewers will have noted.
Efficient Allocation of Resources in a Circular Economy
The efficient allocation of resources, including raw materials, labour, and manufacturing processes is nothing new. The famous case of John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust involved horizontal and vertical integration, the latter of which saw oil refined to over 300 products, including petroleum jelly, tar, kerosene, and even chewing gum.
In a circular economy model, however, products that would normally be designated as waste or biproducts should be diverted from landfills through the efficient use of resources. For example, livestock and agricultural processes that generate offal unfit for consumption often sell the offal to factories that produce animal feed or for fuel or fertiliser.
When dealing with IT assets and technology such as hard drives, magnetic media, cell phones, and tablets, businesses can reduce or even eliminate e-waste ending up in landfills. This can be done through IT Asset Disposition services that aim to securely destroy sensitive data through secure data destruction and hard drive disposal services while also diverting e-waste away from landfills through a robust circular economy system.
Why Circular Economies are Necessary Now and in the Future
According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, only around 9% of the global economy is supporting a circular economy. That’s better than none, however, the lost opportunity to increase that figure has opportunity costs both financially as well as towards the sustainability goals of organisations around the world.
Financially, businesses have innovative tools and technologies at their disposal to create practices supporting a circular economy; the yields in cost savings alone should be reason enough to consider moving in this direction. Accenture claims that the global growth opportunity of organisations supporting a circular economy is valued at an impressive $4.5 trillion, for example. Paired with the sustainable re-use of scarce resources and the lessened impact on the environment, the time has perhaps never been better to go circular.
How ICT Reverse is Supporting the Circular Economy
As pioneers supporting the circular economy for IT assets, ICT Reverse is a leader in secure IT asset disposition services such as the re-marketing, re-use, and recycling of redundant end-of-life (EoL) IT assets.
Our knowledge of the importance and best practices involved in supporting the circular economy help organisations to meet their sustainability goals by our strong commitment to our zero-landfill tolerance policy. Rather than contributing to the current e-waste crisis, our expertise in recycling, refurbishing, and redeploying IT assets to trusted vendors make us a clear choice for reliable ITAD services supporting the circular economy.
One example of how ICT Reverse supports the circular economy is our partnership with Circular Computing.
In order to align our services to the needs of our customers, and be a pioneer within our own sector, we have elected to become a part of the exclusive ITAD Partnership of Circular Computing™ – a company that remanufactures old enterprise-grade, leading-brand laptops and give them a new lease of life
If just one of your computers is selected to go through this complete remanufacturing journey, there is a massive impact that can be accomplished for each and every laptop.
As an example, one laptop leaves your company and, through our services, it passes to Circular Computing™ and their remanufacturing process.
Already, this means 5 trees will be planted. Once remanufactured, the laptop is sold to another customer and another 5 trees are then planted.
Find out more about the Carbon-neutral laptops here.
Contact ICT Reverse Today
Organisations that wish to engage in practices supporting a circular economy can rely on ICT Reverse for secure, trusted ITAD services. We offer specialised data destruction services that keep your organisation safe from data breaches and compliant with data disposal laws and regulations, all without contributing to polluting the environment thanks to our zero-landfill tolerance policy.
We also offer a host of ITAD services that will help your organisation meet its sustainability goals, save money, and benefit the environment.
For more information please Get in touch with us at ICT Reverse and take advantage of our robust ITAD services.
Please contact one of our Account Managers on 01524 580900.