Key Strategies for Circular Economy Implementation in Electronics
By: Janifha Evangeline, Assistant Editor, Asia Business Outlook
The digital circular economy market size is anticipated to reach USD 6.7 billion by 2028. Increasing environmental consciousness among consumers coupled with stringent regulatory frameworks are some of the major factors driving the market growth. Also, businesses today look forward to seek sustainable solutions to meet evolving demands.
On 18th March 2021, some of the electronics organizations, together with a group of pioneering global companies, envisioned a roadmap to commit to a circular economy for electronics by the end of 2030. Dell Technologies, Cisco, Google and Microsoft are among the leading tech as well as electronics companies which have joined forces to build a circular economy for electronics. The global Circular Electronics Partnership marks the 1st time experts, business leaders & global organizations will co-design solutions around this topic.
“There’s no time to waste in finding sustainable solutions for consumption and production,” says Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. “The roadmap and vision set forth by the Circular Electronics Partnership will create the necessary momentum to maximize resources, transform value chains and make the circular transition in electronics a reality,” he adds.
Waste from electronic products, that include cell phones, computers as well as other digital devices represents the fastest-growing waste stream of the world and at an increasing pace of 2Mt/year which is equivalent to roughly nine thousand Statues of Liberty.
While Ewaste is most of the times shipped to developing nations, leaking into the informal sector & hence intensifying human rights issues, globally, this waste is dangerous owing to the level of toxic additives and hazardous substances it contains such as mercury, BFRs, HCFCs etc. If not controlled properly, these materials, can expose locals to high levels of contaminants, and airborne pollutants as well as contaminated groundwater, that can result in significant human health risks, like cancers, diminished IQs & neurological damages.
Hence, organizations can leverage 3 important alternative business strategies to help realize the value from a circular economy model & address critical e-waste challenge. These include: