What is a circular economy and what does it mean for your business?

What is a circular economy?
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A circular economy is the concept of reusing and recycling as much as possible to minimise the impact on the environment. It creates a circular cycle in the economy by keeping products and materials in use for much longer, resulting in less waste going to landfill and less pollution.

As a population, we have become accustomed to the idea of throwing away our possessions as soon as they have a small fault, or a newer model is released. With the technology industry in particular developing at a fast pace, paired with the arrival of social media, the pressure to keep up with our peers has had a detrimental effect on our planet.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The ‘make do and mend’ philosophy is returning. Consumers are making informed, conscious purchasing decisions and place more weight on a company’s environmental credentials than ever before. Recycling and buying second hand is increasing in popularity so the circular economy is making a comeback.

Why does the circular economy matter to your business?

Cost saving – If you look after your technology with regular maintenance and updates, you can increase the life of your assets so the need to buy new ones will be much less frequent. If you do need to buy additional equipment such as laptops or mobile phones, opting for second hand, refurbished assets can work out much cheaper.

Less waste – If you’re trying to minimise waste across your business, making the most of your IT assets is a great place to start. You can refurbish any redundant devices and redistribute them to other areas of the business.

Environmental Credentials – Buying brand-new IT devices has a much larger impact on your carbon footprint than buying second-hand devices. For example, buying a refurbished second-hand iPhone can reduce your carbon impact by a staggering 80%! So, if you work for a company who needs multiple devices across your business, refurbished mobiles or laptops will be a much more environmentally friendly solution.

How you can make a difference

To make a difference you need to think seriously about everything you buy and every process you undertake as a business. It can seem daunting at first but making small changes over time can really help. If every business tried to reduce their impact by just 10%, our planet would be in a much better place.

To get started, why not think about the technology you use within your business? There’s 3 ways you can contribute to the circular economy:

Maintain – Simply put, look after your items. General wear and tear is inevitable, especially in a business setting, but if something breaks it’s much more cost effective to make small repairs than buy a brand new device.

Refurbish and reuse – If you have a number of redundant devices, (perhaps some staff have left or you’ve gone through a business restructure), you get those assets refurbished and redistribute them within your business. It doesn’t have to be complicated either, just choose a service provider who can collect your items, repair them and then redeploy them within your business.

Recycle – When your devices have come to the end of their life, they may be not be suitable for a refurb. Instead, make sure you dispose of them through a certified ITAD company. They will assist you to dispose of your old items responsibly and ensure all useable components are extracted and ready to be reused in future technologies.

Are you looking for ways to make the most of your IT assets? Get in touch and see how we can help with our secure and environmentally friendly solutions.

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