Global sustainability requires long-term planning and strategic initiatives. Although leaders across the world have taken notice of the issue, few have developed actionable steps forward. People are consciously aware of environmental issues yet globalwide consumption continues to increase rampantly.
The European Commission’s recently published report found that Earth’s global consumption of resources may triple by 2050 without viable alternatives in place. Material use of biomass, fossil fuels, metals and minerals is expected to double over the next forty years while annual waste may increase by 70%.
To help combat climate change and other sustainability issues—Europe has begun efforts towards creating a circular economy action plan. The EU hopes to create a long-term initiative focused around preservation and economic efficiency by using renewable and reusable strategies.
Let’s take a look at how the EU is setting a circular economy action plan in motion.
What is a Circular Economy?
Historically most economies have followed a linear path of simply using and disposing of resources. These products are discarded as waste once they’re declared unusable. In stark contrast, the circular economy model utilizes a sustainable system of recycling and reusing resources.
The circular economy road map provides a long-term plan towards an efficient and eco-friendly society. It aims to minimize overall climate impact by designing products with durability and reuse in mind. Transitioning from a linear to a circular economy comes with challenges, but people may benefit long-term from both a financial and socio-economic perspective.
Although the COVID-19 crisis has created economic and social hardships globally—a lessened environmental footprint has provided a glimmer of hope amongst chaos. Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased due to more professionals working from home. These environmental benefits may be short-lived, but gives hope that global change is possible.
The European Commission recently set a plan in motion to help develop a long-term action plan focused around increasing product life cycles and decreasing waste production. The goals of the European Commission include:
- Improving product durability and resource efficiency
- Increasing recycled content in everyday products
- Reducing overall carbon and environmental emissions
- Incentivizing users to keep products long-term
- Helping manufacturers create more sustainable products
In addition to its environmental benefits, circular planning also makes sense from an economic viewpoint. A study performed by the EU found that circular economy principles may help to increase GDP by up to 0.5% over the next ten years thereby creating 700,000 new jobs.
Manufacturing companies may also experience vast benefits from circular economies. Renewable resources may help improve long-term profitability as these organizations rely heavily upon raw materials. As the world moves towards a more sustainable model of economic growth—governments should help incentivize companies who develop renewable strategies.
Why Electronic Waste is Becoming a Problem
The European Commission stated that consumer electronics have become one of the fastest growing forms of global waste—increasing at a rate of more than 2% per year. Although organizations have taken actions towards sustainable initiatives, global consumption of fossil fuels and other raw materials is expected to double by the year 2060.
The growing amount of consumer electronics and gadgets are continuing to fuel the e-waste problem. People regularly upgrade to new technologies, but most fail to realize the negative environmental impact. Although e-waste represents only 2% of landfills, it physically accounts for over two-thirds of heavy metal waste.
The Circular Economy Action Plan sets forth efficiency standards that aim to extend the useful life of electronic consumer products. Common items such as smartphones, tablets, laptops will be encouraged to meet eco-friendly standards. Furthermore, companies will need to provide repair services information to customers upon purchase. The initiative aims to help avoid a worldwide resource crisis by utilizing sustainable long-term planning. Although the US has not yet implemented similar initiatives—some companies are taking action by using remanufacturing and repairing techniques.
How AER is Continuing to be Sustainable through Electronic Remanufacturing
Adopting renewable strategies is crucial for long-term global sustainment. Electronic waste continues to be a growing concern as consumers purchase products at increasing rates.
Although electronic components may break, replacement doesn’t always have to be the only option for consumers. Utilizing renewable resources and sustainability techniques can provide customers with a less expensive alternative while simultaneously minimizing total carbon footprint.
As a leader in the electronics remanufacturing space, AER continues to stay at the forefront of renewal and long-term environmental planning. We continually strive to further innovation while holding ourselves to the highest of sustainability standards.
Using custom tailored repair and remanufacturing techniques—AER handles virtually all functions of the reverse logistics process while acting as an extension of OEM clients’ businesses.