Johan Brändström PhD student in Circular Economy and support at 3stepIT outlines the importance of progress evaluation and lifecycle perspective on IT equipment.

This case is part of the Circular Electronics Day 2021 best practices series. Multiple organizations stand behind this initiative that takes place on January 24 with the aim to encourage organizations and consumers to take a more responsible approach to electronics.

What is sustainable IT management for you?

The word sustainable is often used in situations where it should not. To avoid greenwashing it is important to clarify what we are talking about when using that word.

IT equipment mainly consists of technical material (metals, plastics, minerals), which are non-renewable. That means that every computer and phone that is produced from virgin material contributes to the extraction of a limited resource in addition to the pollution it causes. From a planetary perspective, not extracting any new materials would be the best.

There are basically two end-goals to achieve environmental sustainability, just as in every sector. Ensuring ecosystem balance and resource availability for future generations. To achieve this, current extraction rates must be reduced substantially. By using the theories of circular economy throughout the whole life cycle, this can be accomplished.