The new report from TCO Development, the organization behind the global leading sustainability certification for IT products TCO Certified, explains how everyone who buys and uses IT products can implement circular and more sustainable practices.
“Circular solutions are already available. We now need to use them,” says Clare Hobby, Global Purchaser Engagement Director at TCO Development.
The report, Impacts and Insights: Circular IT Management in Practice, sets out how the circular economy helps solve many of the most pressing sustainability challenges linked to IT products.
In a linear economy we take virgin natural resources and make products from them which we then discard once we’re done using them — often after a relatively short time. Today’s linear consumption causes substantial carbon dioxide emissions. Natural resources are being rapidly exhausted and vast amounts of hazardous e-waste piles up, with more than 50 million metric tonnes being discarded every year, of which only 20% is being responsibly taken care of.
In a circular economy, resources are handled in a more responsible way. The goal is to extend product lifetime and recirculate all materials without producing any waste. This way, the circular economy can help us reduce the pressure we’re putting on the planet. The report shows that greenhouse gas emissions from a notebook computer can be reduced by almost 29 percent just by using the product for six years instead of four.
As a pioneer of circular procurement, Aalborg municipality was interviewed in the report and has seen the effects of acting with greater circularity.
“The amount of CO2 we can save by keeping IT products longer surprised me. Using laptops for another three years will save emissions equivalent to heating and powering all municipality buildings for a year,” says Birgitte Krebs Schleemann, project manager for sustainability procurement at Aalborg municipality.
The circular transition is a paradigm shift that will require both big and small changes. In the report, experts in the frontline of circularity and IT share 33 concrete tips.
“We want to go beyond theory — this report provides practical help for those who want to take the next step,” says Clare Hobby.