Joost de Kluijver (Founder of Closing the Loop) talks about how his young organization partnered with Ingram Micro to implement an industry changing ‘green’ service, known as Waste Compensation.

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 the role of innovators such as Closing the Loop in turning the tech industry into a more sustainable one?

We believe that the tech industry has the potential to make circularity – a rather abstract and complex topic – relevant for each and every person on the globe by making their mobile devices waste-free. We offer users, buyers, and sellers of devices an easy way to compensate for the waste of the product they purchase and use.

To kick-start circularity, it is really important to show the opportunities that are available right now. Our partnership with Ingram Micro is a great example of how tech giants can team up with innovative companies that already offer ways to implement green, or ‘circular’ IT. Offerings that can be implemented fairly easily and in a pragmatic way help the industry and its customers to get started on the transition.

Why did Ingram Micro decide to partner with Closing the Loop?

Ingram Micro ensures that their company-owned notebooks go through a responsible disposal process. However, the notebooks that are resold to their clients and are eventually disposed of could end up as waste. By implementing Waste Compensation, Ingram Micro enables their notebooks to get a second, third or fourth life, and ensures that an equivalent amount of electronic waste is removed from the global waste stream. In this way, Ingram Micro not only prolongs the lifespan of their used electronic devices, but they also contribute to a worldwide circular economy. Their reuse program becomes ‘closed-loop’.

What are the advantages of implementing Waste Compensation?

Closing the Loop’s Waste Compensation model is smart, because it reduces electronic waste in places where this is needed most. Our work increases the re-use of scarce resources. Whenever used devices are resold, we do not know if it eventually ends up as waste, and Waste Compensation helps avoid a situation where scarce resources are wasted. This is a great first step in a long and challenging journey to improve the way electronics are handled. That being said: reuse is great, no doubt about it. We simply make it even better, by making it waste-free.

What are your recommendations when companies for getting started?

First, realize that it can be easy and cost-effective! Start l