The Circular Electronics Partnership’s Plan for the Circular Electronics Chain outlines what manufacturers, governments and other organizations need to do, examining barriers and solutions at every step.
“Despite market power, individual electronics companies cannot act alone in the transition to responsible circularity,” according to the recently released Circular Electronics Roadmap. report said. “Given the global nature of the electronics supply chain, there is a need for a ‘confederation of wills’ across companies and value chain segments.”
With the help of over 80 experts from 40 companies including Dell, Cisco, Google, HP, Huawei, Microsoft and Sims, the Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP) Roadmap is designed for circularity in the electronics value chain. consists of 6 routes.
“Combining the actions defined across pathways presents a comprehensive picture of what is needed to drive systemic transformation towards a vision of a more cyclical electronics industry,” notes the report. increase.
The roadmap provides six pathways: designing for circularity, driving demand for circular products and services, expanding responsible business models, increasing public collection rates, and secondary materials markets. expansion, aggregation for reuse and recycling.
Shela Gobertina von Trapp, Director of Global Marketing and Outreach for the Global Electronics Council (GEC) said at a virtual conference on October 4th. launch event It is GEC’s hope that this blueprint “helps collectively understand what constitutes circular electronic products and what constitutes each of the systems these products need to cycle.”
“This is very important to be able to respond at scale to the changes we need,” she added.
“To come together we need a common vision, we need common principles and common definitions,” says Samsurin Welch, research associate in the Center for Circular Economy at Cambridge Judge Business School. says.
“That’s the power of the work done here,” said Welch. “This is the North Star.”
Barriers and enablers
The roadmap report presents barriers to six pathways and 40 actions to address them, including increased transparency, data sharing, better repair options for customers, and industry-wide standardization and collaboration.
Accenture Sustainability Strategist Timo Gossler, who helped prepare the report, said it was important for the working group to define the term “circular” and settled on three main requirements. It will be restored at the end of its life.
“No matter how circular a product is designed with circularity in mind, if the product is not used efficiently and ends up in a landfill, it is no match for a more traditionally designed product. ‘ he said.
Circular resources also need to be examined, Gossler said, and circular design means that items must be “durable, repairable, upgradeable, resource efficient and recyclable.” means that there is
“The design must strike the right balance between these properties, as well as consider trade-offs with other product attributes such as performance and safety,” he said.
While the blueprint doesn’t offer a “silver bullet answer,” Gossler says it provides a lot of pathways and clear direction. It also outlines his 12 “system enablers” to help achieve circularity.
For circular resources, the enablers are standardization, functioning markets, and validation techniques. In terms of design, the two enablers are collaborative design and fully integrating circularity into the design process. Gossler said collection has his seven enablers, including repair services, customer incentives, reverse logistics, disassembly and recycling.
“Almost all of these enablers are related to each other,” he said, adding that “enablers shouldn’t be an afterthought after the product is already on the shelves.”
David Hirschler, director of OEM, sustainability and legal affairs at electronics recycler ERI, reminded webinar attendees that “no one organization can fix and solve problems alone” and shared standards. and the importance of standardized material to true circulation. system.
From an ERI perspective, he said, the need to set up an infrastructure not only to collect the material, but also to transport it to where production is taking place, and to connect ERI’s supply of recycled materials to upstream manufacturers. said that there is
“In a global economy, we need to be able to reliably build these connections,” he said.
A circular flow of data is also important, Welch said, allowing anyone in the chain to see what an item is made of, how it was made, whether it has been repaired, and other relevant information.
“Traditionally, supply chains have broken these data flows,” says Welch.
Welch added that equity needs to be included in conversations about the circular economy to ensure that people living in developing countries and emerging economies “get a piece of the pie.”
Role of regulation
Webinar panelists also highlighted the role that regulation should play. Garam Bell, circular economy officer at the International Telecommunication Union, said regulations should be seen as an opportunity for cooperation and fair competition, rather than just enforcement.
Regulation can “allow everyone in the system to understand their role,” said Bell, adding that about 40% of countries have regulations, policies or laws governing the management of electronic scrap. However, few countries are legally binding or regularly enforcing them, he added.
TES Chief Sustainability Officer Gene Cox Carnes says enforcement is important because “there are good actors who follow the regulations and bad actors who don’t.”
“Regulation is one tool, but not the only one,” she said, adding that more creativity in business models is desperately needed.
Wesley Spindler Managing Director and Global Circular Economy Leader at Accenture, “We need these breakthrough models and innovations to change the game.”
“We need to stop talking about incremental change and start thinking about how we can truly change our value chains and ecosystems and make these models a new way of doing business, rather than just being part of business as usual. There is,” she added.