The climate crisis is hitting our headlines on a daily basis. And it’s easy to see why.
It’s clear we need to take action if we are to protect our planet for future generations. Finding ways to preserve earth’s resources and looking at sustainable business solutions is no longer just a good thing to do. It has become a necessity.
Interestingly, technology is often hailed as the hero when it comes to tackling climate change. And at Circular First, we’re excited about this potential. But our hero is also part of the problem.
Right now, ICT is estimated to be responsible for 3-6% of global carbon emissions – a figure that’s rising as more businesses go through digital transformation.
At the same time, needless replacement cycles and defaulting to new equipment means that e-waste is growing at an alarming rate. Only 17% of IT equipment is currently recycled, meaning e-waste is a significant contributor to climate change and the degradation of human and planet health.
The short answer? Together, we can all look at the ways we’re using technology, extend the life of our equipment – and consider more sustainable IT
in our businesses.
Sustainable IT is a fairly new term. When it comes to a definition, it’s a term used to describe the design, manufacture, use and disposal of IT equipment that has minimal impact on the planet. You may also know it as ‘Green IT’.
We believe sustainable IT can make a positive impact in any business. At Circular First, we’re making non-new supply chains readily available to clients across the globe. Helping them to break the cycle of buying new as the default option.
When you extend the life of your existing IT equipment, you’re helping to preserve earth’s resources and decrease carbon emissions, while reducing the amount of e-waste at the same time.
Non-new options also mean that your supply chains become more resilient, as you’re less reliant on new parts and less susceptible to price rises. Only recently, we’ve seen chip shortages impacting businesses across the world, leaving whole industries struggling to produce goods or maintain supply.
With sustainable IT, it’s easier to weather these storms and maintain consistency. For example, during the pandemic, lead times for new technology leaped to 16 weeks, due to transistor shortages. With our circular approach and less reliance on new parts, our lead times stayed steady at just 3-4 weeks.
Last but not least, there’s cost savings too. Non-new technology provides commercial savings compared to new. So, it really does pay to consider sustainable IT in your business.
Despite the current habit to buy new equipment, sustainable IT undoubtedly works. Circular First and our other businesses have been promoting and using non-new supply chains successfully for the last 14 years
Together with our clients, including Cisco, we’ve been offering authorised remanufactured, refurbished and repair solutions that have helped businesses minimise their environmental impact. In doing this, many of our clients are now working towards a more sustainable model altogether.
When it comes to getting started with sustainable IT, a lot comes down to a change in mindset. Re-evaluating what we are told – and what is classed as the norm.
Buying new equipment doesn’t have to be your only option. There are many ways to extend the life of your IT equipment beyond the two or three-year lifespan we’ve been used to.
Here are five ways to get started. Or five options to consider before buying brand new IT devices for your business.
This is a service we’ve been providing to clients for over a decade. Here, you buy authorised equipment that has been refurbished or remanufactured and certified by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
These solutions mean your equipment has been restored to its highest utility and comes complete with the full manufacturer warranties. With this option, you’ll have the highest resilience and reliability of all sustainable IT solutions
, as well as peace of mind from the manufacturer.
The next best option. With remanufactured hardware, you can expect fully deconstructed, checked and reconstructed products. Using either used or new parts, your equipment is rebuilt to the specifications of the original manufactured product. Every component is tested, from the battery to the motherboard, so your IT looks, and runs, as new.
You’ll have functionally sound equipment that has been tested for defects, and had any damaged components replaced.
It may not necessarily look ‘as new’ but this can depend on the condition of the original equipment. In some cases your refurbished IT may be supported by the manufacturer too.
We often find that technology has more life remaining than the current user needs. In this case, once technology is finished with, it can be redeployed to new sectors or reused in different businesses.
Although you don’t have the reassurances and ‘as new’ benefits of refurbished or remanufactured, you can still get a great deal from the equipment. At Circular First we can help you realise value from your assets and enable you to enjoy significant savings as a result.
Another option is to repair or upgrade your existing equipment. This is an excellent way to maximise the full utility of your IT. By repairing or upgrading your technology, you can extend its life in your business and preserve earth’s resources in the process.
We believe that recycling should be a last resort. Although it’s better than placing your equipment in landfill, it still results in more e-waste – an ongoing problem affecting our planet.
Today, only 17% of e-waste is recycled, meaning most of it is put in the ground. The toxins from e-waste are now infesting soil and water, contaminating wildlife, livestock and crops. These toxins are even being passed into the food chain as a result.
The fact is: we can all reduce e-waste. And we can make our IT equipment last longer. As we’ve shown above, this doesn’t mean settling for second best or compromising on quality. At Circular First we ensure you can enjoy all of the benefits of great technology, while also saving money and making a positive impact on the planet.
Yes, you really can have all three.
To find out how you can start working towards more sustainable IT solutions,