In our office, the phrase “did you know...” was a frequent conversation starter, followed by a barrage of facts discovered on the journey to building Circular Computing...
What we discovered was mass destruction, on an industrial scale, all in the pursuit of selling new computers. Over several decades this has done irreparable harm to people & our planet.
Why? Because, for decades the ICT industry has relied on a business model where planned obsolescence is designed into products as standard. Users are fed constant upgrade cycles every 3-4 years, based on the false assumption that “newer is better”.
Our Reversal initiative was born to prove that we can create a successful business and meet the IT needs of other successful businesses whilst reversing some of the damage caused by previous manufacture and disposal of computer and ICT products.
“…children as young as 4 are working in the mines of the Congo to extract minerals for new computers...”
“...students in China are made to work for low pay (or no pay in some IT factories) to meet production demand and if they don’t, they are failed in their exams…”
“...hazardous chemicals used in the extraction, processing and production of computers have killed workers…”
Steve Haskew took centre stage in Nijimegen in the Netherlands for the sustainable procurement event of the year at Ecoprocura 2018. He superbly delivered a presentation focusing on the benefits of Sustainable IT, and the possibilities of pursuing a better future for our information technology.
Circular Computing were amongst the procurement elite and were privileged to rub shoulders with Majors of European cities and public procurement professionals all pledging to take on new circular economy and environmentally focused procurement projects.
We have continued to have extremely positive conversations with high ranking city officials to help establish new connections for our reseller partners across Europe.
It is with much pleasure that we have launched our Sustainability Calculator to help aid the cause of creating awareness regarding the need for sustainable IT. Our focus is to show the positive impacts of what purchasing a remanufactured Circular laptop can bring compared to that of purchasing new.
As a tool to help aid awareness we hope that end users and organisations will be enabled to see the positive impact they are having on our planet by making a conscious choice to buy Circular Computing.
We are hearing great things and look forward to seeing the impacts across all our resellers customers in the coming future.
Many millions of tons of ICT WEEE is sent to Ghana and Hong Kong illegally and disposed of without any duty of care to that society or the environment. Vulnerable societies are desperate for income and are insufficiently educated around issues of safe disposal. This creates a very dangerous environment. Carcinogens are created by the burning of materials to salvage valuable scrap, inflicting life-long damage to the residents. Reversal wants to see more product making its way to legitimate recycling centres for re-use and repurposing/re-entry into the Circular Economy instead.
We have talked at length about the environmental cost of resource consumption at the hands of the IT industry. However, the true price is often paid by communities that are “put to work” in developing countries to meet manufacture demand. Whilst pay is poor by western standards, it is often the best source of income for the most vulnerable communities. Therefore, throwing money at this problem is not a viable solution. There needs to be wider consideration for meeting short term needs, whilst investing in longer term solutions such as better education provision to keep children out of mines without creating a “void” in family income.
There is a legacy of CO2 debt carried by all of us who are engaged with IT operations. Reversal will be committed to causes like WeForest that tackle this legacy of debt by compensating for the production, use and disposal of IT. In the first instance, this is achieved by our commitment to plant five trees for every Circular Computing laptop sold. Beyond this, our reforestation projects create businesses in themselves, generating sustainable employment, infrastructure and income security within the local community. We aim to continue doing good.