Many organizations have a regular cycle for replacing and upgrading electronic assets.
But what would it look like with your IT assets, for example, to keep them in operation as long as possible? What if, when you purchased electronics for your organization, you made a concerted effort to purchase durable products that are easy to upgrade and repair? What if you thought of your IT assets as a closed loop of resources, rather than a linear process from acquisition to disposition?
What is circularity?
Circularity, or a circular economy, is a system focused on the elimination of waste in a way that supports a more sustainable agenda. Circularity can be applied across nearly every industry and “employ[s] reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system.”
The benefits of circularity
For organizations that take a circular approach to IT management, there are a couple primary benefits:
1). You reduce your carbon footprint
When you take a circular approach, it’s important to consider how much greenhouse gas is produced during each life cycle stage for each electronic device.
Gather specific metrics you can use to make the most environmentally responsible decisions. These metrics will allow you to calculate the environmental impact of using your older devices for “x” more years compared to the environmental cost of replacing them.
Be sure to look closely at the environmental impact of manufacturing, transportation, use and end-of-life electronics disposal.
In addition to measuring CO2 emissions to help you calculate your environmental impact, purchase high-quality electronics that are easily repaired. This reduces unnecessary spending down the road when low-quality electronics fail and must be frequently repaired or replaced.
Also consider purchasing refurbished IT assets for your employees from reputable companies such as Tech Discounts. This cuts procurement costs which add up quickly.
Ultimately, when your assets have reached the end of their useful life, work with a reputable IT asset disposition vendor to refurbish or recycle them and reduce your carbon footprint through good environmental stewardship.
Want to learn more about developing an effective, secure and profitable IT asset disposition (ITAD) program to take the next step toward circularity for your business? Download our free guide here!
2). You save your organization money
While it may seem obvious, it’s worth noting that, when circularity is part of your IT management plan and you’re holding onto items longer, your company saves money.
Keep in mind that equipment can be repaired and updated, allowing you to maximize its use. This is, in many cases, cheaper than replacing it. Tech Discounts can also help you with repair support services to extend the useful life of your assets.
3). You and your employees experience a sense of pride
Companies seek ways to set themselves apart in the hiring and retention of employees. Having systems and practices in place that prioritize the environment can also help differentiate your company from your competitors. Humans want to be a part of something that matters and make a positive impact.
How do I incorporate circularity into my IT best practices?
The first step to achieving circularity is to gather actionable data that you can use to get a snapshot of your current social and economic impact, set goals you wish to achieve and map out a plan to get there. In order to truly achieve circularity in your organization, you must adopt a circular IT business model instead of tweaking your current linear model.
Circular Transition Indicators by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circulytics tool are two initiatives that help measure circular economy performance across organizations.
You also must achieve buy-in from senior leadership and create a thorough plan to enact this organization-wide shift. Because IT asset management circularity will directly affect your employees, spend time educating them on why this shift is occurring and what they can expect.
Circularity makes us better stewards of our financial resources and our environment.
In the words of Dr. Peder Jensen of the European Environment Agency, “Circularity is an idea as old as nature itself. So it is really the linear model that is the ‘odd one out.’ Only by transitioning to a circular model can we ever establish a real model for sustainable development. We therefore need to focus our attention on more than just the flow of materials and include also environmental and social aspects. The circular sustainable life should be a good life.”