We have talked to Alexandra Wu from IVL, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, about the circular economy and how it is applicable to electronics. Alexandra works in the Waste and Resource Flow Group with consulting and research projects focusing on the transition to the circular economy, with a focus on electronics and batteries.

Gabriella Mellstrand
Blog by:
Gabriella Mellstrand

Global Marketing & Communications Director

Alexandra recently talked about this topic at a recent webinar hosted by Circular Electronics Initiative that we are part of. The initiative aims to encourage organizations and consumers to take a more responsible approach to the electronic goods they use.

How did you end up working with the circular economy and electronics?

I did my Masters research on full material disclosure in the electronics supply chain and became fascinated with circular economy issues in the electronics industry, especially when it comes to working with industry actors and tackling issues at a systems level.

What is the circular economy?

In a linear economy, we typically take resources, make products and then throw them out as waste (a “take, make, waste” system). Whereas the circular economy refers to an economic system where energy and resources are regenerated and preserved in the system, and waste is minimized (if not eliminated). It’s important to know that circular economy is only a means to an end, and not the end goal itself. It is a tool to tackle systemic societal issues like climate change and biodiversity loss. It can also provide a great opportunity to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and build resilience.