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…”
In 2007, the Moonlight Fire burned through 65,000 acres of the Plumas National Forest, damaging important watersheds, threatening 500 homes, destroying wildlife habitats and recreational areas.
Last month, 15,000 trees (so far!) were planted in this area as part of a larger reforestation project led by One Tree Planted to restore nearly 13,000 acres of National Forest over the next few years. Our involvement in this project was due to our deal with Fortune 200 business process services giant, SYNNEX, who are the first in the US to benefit with our carbon neutral, remanufactured laptops.
Reforestation projects are important to us, which is why we plant 5 trees for every laptop sold through our partnerships with One Tree Planted and WeForest.
You can see more about the reforestation projects we have been involved with HERE.
Denmark Plants Trees is a partnership between TV 2 and the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, with a live show hosted by Puk Elgaard and Mikkel Kryger and featuring entertainment and fundraising akin to the likes of Comic relief or Children in Need here in the UK.
The goal of the initiative was to plant a million trees– deciduous species such as oak, beech, and birch – across eight different regions of Denmark covered by TV 2. These trees will create new “Folkeskov” – Folk forests, or forests for people. While the total is currently just show of that figure there is still time to donate at http://danmarkplantertraeer.dk/
Of course the benefits to the environment of tree planting are well known and as such Circular Computing were happy to support the event as sponsors alongside our partners Elitecom. We feel this should be an event that takes place around the world. Maybe we can look forward to a “Britain Plants Trees” televisual spectacular in years to come?
In a step towards the UK government’s long-term carbon neutrality target, the country’s nine major water and sewerage providers have joined together in a commitment that will see 11 million trees planted. The agreement will include the restoration of original woodland now owned by water companies as well as new projects across National Trust, Wildlife Trust, and RSPB owned land.
The move has been celebrated by Sir William Worsley, the Government’s National Tree Champion who said to Water UK “I welcome this pledge from England’s water companies, who have clearly seen the value in planting trees and acknowledged the vital role they will play in helping us to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Trees are carbon sinks, provide crucial habitats for precious wildlife, mitigate flood risk and provide a valuable renewable resource in timber – and I encourage other industries to follow Water UK’s excellent example to ensure we boost planting rates across the country.”
Outside of the Government’s overall target of a carbon neutral country by 2050 the water sector itself is setting sights on the year 2030. Planting trees is a large part of the strategy for most water boards, with several already having projects well underway.
United Utilities has planted 800,000 trees since 2005, for instance, with a target of 440,000 more over the next 5 years. Yorkshire Water planted 14,000 trees in December of last year as part of a one million tree initiative with the Woodland Trust which aims to “enhance the environment and reduce the risk of flooding”. Anglian water plan to introduce a million plants including trees, hedging plants and shrubs in urban areas, in a 25-year project, and Severn Trent have already planted 500,000 trees with a further 250,000 expected by 2024.
It is expected that all these water companies will be working with the Woodland Trust to identify and manage sites throughout these programmes – the latest in a long line of projects the Trust have assisted with including planting trees in a carbon offsetting initiative with Circular Computing’s printing partners, John Dollin.
The make-up of the world’s workforce, and therefore people with money to spend, is changing. In the US, for example, there are currently around 92 million Millennials. In just a few years, by 2025, this group of young people – born between 1981 and 2001 – will account for 75% of working people. And this generation has plenty of purchasing clout too, representing some $2.75 trillion in spending power globally.
But, as we are so often told, this generation is different. Special, even.
Buoyed by globalization and a more progressive view of a politically and economically disrupted world, Millennials tend to be more curious and suspicious than the generation that came before. They are willing and able to ask more questions, particularly of brands and the activities of companies. As such, this generation is not in the market to buy just anything.
Trust has become a form of currency in today’s retail market. Alongside this has been an explosion of interest in environment, social and sustainability issues. There appears to be an increased desire for collective action, to rid the planet of harmful practices and bring to account those that continue to pollute or cause unnecessary waste.
Today, brands big and small recognize the market potential for sustainability – not just as a way of ensuring business survival, but as a market requirement fostered by increasingly savvy Millennial consumers. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer or supplier, it is all about transparency.
The latest Nielsen study has it that 81% of global consumers say it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ for a brand to implement programmes that will protect and improve the environment. Consumers in developing markets, such as India and Colombia, feel even more strongly, with 97% and 96% of respondents respectively saying the same.
In another report, surveys suggest 87% of millennials would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues.
Individual consumer action is also important.73% of Nielsen respondents said they would either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, 38% claim they would pay higher-than-average prices for products made with sustainable materials.
While there is some way to go before the majority of consumers vote with their wallets at the point of purchase – clearly sustainability is important to them.
And companies will need to keep pace in such a rapidly changing world.
They can do this by acknowledging the wider impacts of what they do as a business – and start to address what it will take to be more sustainable. IT procurement, for example, used to be a straightforward process; stick to what you know when upgrading systems and keep it simple by focusing on quality, performance and cost.
Now, sustainability needs to be a central component of any purchasing decision. Considering the environmental impacts of IT manufacture, for instance, as well as what happens when assets reach the end of their life, are now important factors in determining what IT equipment is best suited to the task in hand. In a world dominated by more environmentally-conscious employees, such considerations are becoming increasingly important to procurement strategies.
By establishing a reputation for environmental stewardship and social responsibility among customers, you will have an opportunity to build brand loyalty with a power-spending Millennial generation– a generation that continues to demonstrate increasingly less brand loyalty than the Baby Boomers that went before.
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.