Most of us know of the three ‘R’s of the circular economy: reduce, reuse and recycle. But did you know that in the EU there are only two?
None of the three stages of the circular economy – reduce, reuse and recycle – are perfect. But if we want to make reuse more effective, we have to focus more on how we collect it and why people would agree to give their equipment a second life.
There’s been a lot of noise around the increase in carbon tax in the latest budget here in Ireland. Understandably so, perhaps, when you consider that carbon taxes disproportionately affect the people who use CO2 emitting devices rather than those who make them. In other words, the user pays not the producer.
The CO2 emissions from manufacturing for laptops, desktop PCs and monitors is often 60-70% of their total emissions. Manufacturers are struggling to bring those emissions down but they can deliver bigger reductions than focusing on reuse.
With laptops outselling desktop PCs is there an argument to be made that they are more sustainable than desktops? On the surface, it would appear that laptops are greener but there are other factors that need to be explored.
Despite the best intentions, it’s still very hard for computer manufacturers to reduce their carbon emissions and water usage. Take HP as an example. Figures on the company's website reveal its carbon footprint increased in 2019 and its water footprint was higher than in 2017. Why?
In January, Microsoft made a bold pledge to become carbon negative by 2030. It set a target of 2050 to “remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.” But while removing the carbon directly emitted or through electrical consumption by Microsoft sounds impressive, it doesn’t truly reflect the carbon emissions which Microsoft has enabled through the use of its technology.
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