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Brief Published: 4 Jun 2019

Tech Gets Responsible with First Carbon Neutral Laptops

UK IT company Circular Computing (CC) has recently signed deals with US business supply chain company Synnex and partners in four European countries to distribute its remanufactured computers. With 50 million tonnes of e-waste produced every year, circular production innovations are vital to making the technology industry more sustainable (WEF, 2019).

According to CC’s research, 160,000 laptops are thrown away every day in Europe, 70% of which could be reused. To address this waste, CC collects ex-lease computers from large corporations at its UK-based factory. The machines are dismantled, cleaned, repaired and remade to look – and work – as if new. The company claims that this process can extend the life of a computer by up to nine years. It also provides a Sustainable IT Calculator, to help purchasers understand and quantify the environmental benefit that their remanufactured laptops yield.

The laptops cost around 40% less than brand new models, making them an economically as well as ecologically sustainable option for businesses and educational institutions. The company has collaborated with Belgian NGO WeForest to plant five trees for every laptop sold, offsetting the carbon emissions released in production. The trees will absorb enough CO2 to compensate for a further 15 years of the laptop’s use. 

The company also offers corporate sustainability workshops, to help other businesses move towards making a positive eco-ethical impact. Environmentally minded brands could replicate this approach by sharing their sustainable know-how to help others make better green choices.

Look out for an exploration of recycled post-consumer waste in Towards Our Sustainable Future, the latest Stylus Macro Trend, publishing on June 6.