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Why we all need to become part of the circular economy

Like everything else, too much used IT equipment goes to waste. It’s time to breathe new life into second-hand technology, and eliminate waste and pollution

There are words and phrases which gradually enter the national conversation and, before we know it, they’re being used without everyone fully understanding what they mean or where they came from.

The “circular economy” became a classic example of that.

But at Born Good it’s a concept that has always been at the heart of what we do.

And as businesses look to make efficiency savings while also playing their part in reducing emissions and working towards net zero, it has never been more pertinent.

So what exactly does it mean?

In short, it’s extending the life cycle of a product, from IT equipment and electronic devices to children’s toys and general household items.

It’s standing in the way of something that is heading for the bin, and seeing how it can be used, or indeed re-used, in either the same or a different way.

You see it in retail when people refer now to items that have been “pre-loved”. 

That’s the circular economy in action, and so too are many items that crop up as “second hand”.

0% of tech to landfill and regenerating nature

At Born Good, our mission is to apply the circular economy ethos to as much in the technology bracket as possible.

As an organisation, our mission is that nothing – zero per cent – of the tech we work with ends up in landfill.

Instead, it is given a new lease of life for the benefit of people, businesses and charities.

We want to challenge the disposable attitude that has emerged around supposedly “single life” tech.

To eliminate waste and pollution, we take your equipment and make it work for you again, sometimes in the same way as before, sometimes in a new form.

Making economic sense

And while this addresses the circular, let’s not forget the importance of the second part of the phrase.

The word “economy” shows us that while there are environmental gains like regenerating nature to be made from this approach, there can be financial ones too.

This can equate to enormous savings at scale for businesses, and also to cash benefits for the worst off in our society who may otherwise struggle to access technology.

Digital poverty is a huge problem in the UK and, as more of our lives become internet-dependent, the penalty for those who cannot access the right technology becomes all the more severe.

That’s another problem we want to fix, and with our objective to fight this inequality while driving down carbon emissions, there is a double-win scenario on the horizon.

We want to make the world a better place to live and work for everyone, and by reviving and breathing new life into digital equipment we can do exactly that.

Focusing on the life cycle

Countries across Europe want to achieve a full circular economy by 2050, meaning everything is either re-used or recycled.

Tech has to be a part of that mission, which will not succeed without finding ways to make technological equipment live on for far longer than it is currently.

It is often said when old toys come out the attic from yesteryear, and the dust and cobwebs are blown from their surface, that they work just as they did on the day they were made.

“These were built to last,” someone would say as they bemoan the throwaway culture that besets the linear economic model which has more than had its day, with modern toys and everything else.

We need to move that spirit into IT equipment, so that the same can be said down the years as computers, tablets, devices and their associated infrastructure don’t just become part of the circular economy, but one of its very cornerstones.