Sustainable Laptops – UK Carbon Reduction Study

Switching to sustainable laptops could reduce UK CO2 emissions by 9 million tons

Switching to sustainable laptops could reduce UK CO2 emissions by nine million tons.

Circular Computing ™ has calculated that the UK could save £7.7 billion over the next nine years by purchasing remanufactured laptops instead of brand-new devices.

The move would also see carbon emission reductions of nine million tons and 5.4 trillion litres fewer water usage (10 percent of the volume of the North Sea) over the same period.

If all businesses in the UK elected to move to remanufactured devices, the reduction in emissions by 2030 would be equivalent to taking 193,002 cars off the roads for a year.

Because remanufactured laptops reuse much of the original device, the emissions, water use, and resources needed to be mined are significantly reduced versus net new equipment, they are also up to 40 percent cheaper.

Steve Haskew, Head of Sustainability and Social Leadership at Circular Computing ™, said: “Every day some 160,000 laptops are disposed of in the EU alone, creating a worsening e-waste crisis. Our laptops haven’t had to be manufactured from scratch, with many materials reused, so they are much more environmentally friendly than buying new devices. There are also seismic sustainability savings.”

Steve elegantly sums up the intrinsic benefits of sustainable laptops: “I’d encourage all organisations looking to reduce their environmental impact to interrogate their IT procurement and see if they can make it more sustainable, because IT shouldn’t cost the earth.”

For every laptop Circular Computing sells, 316kg of CO₂ emissions and 190,000 litres of water use are saved, and 1,200kg of mining minerals is prevented versus the equivalent sale of a new laptop. They also plant five trees for every laptop sold, in the buyer’s name.

(*Calculations are based on information taken from ONS – UK business: activity, size, location and internal Circular Computing data. The calculations assume that 80 percent of company employees require a laptop, and that businesses with more than 50 employees purchase laptops on three-year cycles and therefore three cycles by 2030, with smaller businesses only purchasing in one cycle before 2030).