Semi-circular strategies and remanufacturing

09 July, 2018

Circular Computing remanufactures high-quality top-end laptops.  However, to match demand and supply, remanufacturers like Circular Computing need to work with

 both kinds of semi-circular organisations.

Some will provide Circular Computing with end-of-use IT equipment, in good-enough condition for remanufacturing. They have sufficient (and regular) volumes of each brand and product specification (processor, screen size, storage media), enabling Circular Computing to sustain economic remanufacturing batch sizes. On the other hand, some organizations will be customers, buying reliable and robust IT equipment, refurbished, upgraded and tested to meet their users’ needs for the next 3-year use-cycle.

Even better, some organisations will close the loop completely. They may start by buying remanufactured equipment, use it for three years and then feed it back into the remanufacturing process.

However, some laptops will be heavily used (or abused!), preventing their successful refurbishment. It may be possible to ‘harvest’ parts from these machines to reuse in other laptops, or to at least recycle valuable raw materials.

Jargon buster: in remanufacturing terminology, products and components are known as ‘core’.

10 ways semi-circular strategies deliver sustainability benefits

Let’s examine the benefits for those organisations involved in the remanufacturing supply-chain, either buying or providing products.

  • Firstly, it reduces reliance on virgin resources, improving resource security in the long term by keeping the components & materials in the system for longer.

  • This reduces the extraction of virgin metals, minerals and petrochemicals, thus reducing mining waste and associated environmental destruction, pollution of local watercourses and so on. Circular Computing calculates* that each remanufactured laptop saves 1200 kg of virgin resources.

  • Also, we reduce consumption of energy, water and chemicals. Remanufacturing requires far less of each of these, compared to manufacturing new items. Circular Computing calculates* that each remanufactured laptop saves 190,000 litres of water.

  • This means we reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions from the production and supply chain. Circular Computing calculates* that each remanufactured laptop saves 380 kg of CO2.

  • By recycling end-of-life components (eg damaged, outdated specifications etc), we can regenerate resources.

  • We reduce risk by using tried and tested equipment instead of the latest ‘new to market’ models.

  • This means we avoid waste disposal costs by feeding end-of-use products into a remanufacturing process.

  • On top of this, we reduce e-waste and its associated environmental and societal problems (pollution, toxic materials affecting recycling workers and so on).

  • We reduce the cost of providing IT equipment, with significant savings compared to buying new laptops.

  • And finally, this enhances your reputation. All these societal and environmental benefits can be included in company sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility reports, helping to engage customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Semi-circular strategies make sense

That’s a pretty impressive list, highlighting the benefits of supporting remanufacturing and circular economy strategies.