Which Practice Supports a Circular Economy?
In efforts to create sustainable, cost-efficient business processes, many business leaders around the world are increasingly asking about practices that support the circular economy. What is it? How can organisations tap into the potential of circular economies? Is a circular economy model aligned with the current and future goals of the organisation? Here, we will take a look at which practices can support a circular economy.
What is a Circular Economy?
A circular economy is a model that considers the production and consumption of goods and services while reducing or eliminating the unnecessary use of resources. Compare this to a typical product-life factor, still widely used today, which is a linear model. The linear model revolves around a “take, make, dispose” mindset whereby raw materials, often scarce, are extracted from the earth, processed and manufactured into products, sold and consumed, then disposed of in a landfill.
The circular economy, first popularised in the 1970s, aims to make the most efficient use of resources possible in a ‘closed-loop’ system. What would normally be wasted at the end of the product’s lifespan can – with the efficient use of resources, re-use, recycling, and remarketing the product – be diverted from landfills and instead be reintroduced into the stream. In summary, the circular economy instead uses a “make, use, recycle” mindset that is sustainable and makes more efficient use of scarce resources.
The Circular Economy Model in Practice
Bringing theory into practice, many industries around the world and global corporations have begun adopting practices supporting a circular economy. Naturally, how one organisation can implement a circular economy can differ drastically depending on the type of product or service they offer as well as their existing infrastructure for supporting a circular economy (or lack thereof).
Many examples exist, such as the efforts undertaken by the textile industry to combat the rampant overconsumption of fashion items and their subsequent waste. Colorado-based company Circular Threads, for example, offers customers a take-back program for any used clothing items to be repurposed and recycled. This minimises their contribution to municipal landfills and promotes more sustainable purchasing practices by the company and its loyal customers.
Efficient Allocation of Resources in a Circular Economy
The efficient allocation of resources, including raw materials, labour, and manufacturing processes is nothing new. The famous case of John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust involved horizontal and vertical integration, the latter of which saw oil refined to over 300 products, including petroleum jelly, tar, kerosene, and even chewing gum.
In a circular economy model, however, products that would normally be designated as waste or byproducts should be diverted from landfills through the efficient use of resources. For example, livestock and agricultural processes that generate offal unfit for consumption often sell the offal to factories that produce animal feed or for fuel or fertiliser.
When dealing with IT assets and technology such as hard drives, magnetic media, cell phones, and tablets, businesses can reduce or even eliminate e-waste ending up in landfills. This can be done through IT Asset Disposition services that aim to securely destroy sensitive data through secure data destruction and hard drive disposal services while also diverting e-waste away from landfills through a robust circular economy system.
Why Circular Economies are Necessary Now and in the Future
According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, only around 9% of the global economy is supporting a circular economy. That’s better than none, however, the lost opportunity to increase that figure has opportunity costs both financially as well as towards the sustainability goals of organisations around the world.
Financially, businesses have innovative tools and technologies at their disposal to create practices supporting a circular economy; the yields in cost savings alone should be reason enough to consider moving in this direction. Accenture claims that the global growth opportunity of organisations supporting a circular economy is valued at an impressive $4.5 trillion, for example. Paired with the sustainable re-use of scarce resources and the lessened impact on the environment, the time has perhaps never been better to go circular.
How Wisetek is Supporting the Circular Economy
As pioneers supporting the circular economy for IT assets, Wisetek is a global leader in secure IT asset disposition services such as data centre services (decommissioning), as well as the re-marketing, re-use, and recycling of redundant end-of-life (EoL) IT assets.
Our knowledge of the importance and best practices involved in supporting the circular economy help organisations to meet their sustainability goals by our strong commitment to our zero-landfill policy. Rather than contributing to the current e-waste crisis, our expertise in recycling, refurbishing, and redeploying IT assets to trusted vendors make us a clear choice for reliable ITAD services supporting the circular economy.
Our Wisetek Store eCommerce portal facilities the above practices by allowing us to provide access to high quality, reliable and affordable refurbished devices, preventing potential e-waste from ending up in landfills. Devices available on the portal include refurbished laptops, refurbished MacBooks, refurbished Monitors and refurbished desktops, which have been rigorously tested to ensure they are to an “as new” standard.
Contact Wisetek Today
Organisations that wish to engage in practices supporting a circular economy can rely on Wisetek for secure, trusted ITAD services. We offer specialised data destruction services that keep your organisation safe from data breaches and compliant with data disposal laws and regulations, all without contributing to polluting the environment thanks to our zero-landfill policy.
We also offer remote IT services and a host of other ITAD services that will help your organisation meet its sustainability goals, save money, and benefit the environment.
Get in touch with us at Wisetek and take advantage of our robust ITAD services.