Closing the loop – the circular economy

Nick Thirsk

The circular economy is “closing the loop” on wasteful product lifecycles. As customer demand for action grows louder, more and more tech giants are leading the charge for a sustainable future.

There are many ways companies can start taking responsibility for their carbon footprint. Embracing the circular economy approach is one of the best because it’s not all about sacrifice – it makes business sense, too.

We’re taking a circular approach to our supply and output here at TBT Marketing, as part of our new, future focused commitment to being a sustainable business.

It’s an exciting, positive journey which is already opening new doors and opportunities for us. If you’re interested in knowing more about the idea and what it might involve, read on and get in touch.

Why do we need a circular economy?

Today, most electronic products – computers, phones, tablets – have a one-way ticket to landfill. If they’re lucky, they’ll be taken to a recycling centre at the end of their life. If they’re really lucky, they were even designed to be recyclable.

Products like these are also being bought, discarded and replaced faster than ever before.

"Some manufacturers deliberately try to speed up this linear flow – buy, use, replace, discard – to increase their profits."

Refreshing lines more frequently, and selling upgrades more frequently, leads to things being thrown away more frequently.

In the past, customers simply accepted this as the way the world works. Today, we’re waking up to the problem and looking for manufacturers to offer sustainable alternatives.

What is the circular economy?

In a circular economy, products and materials don’t go to landfill. They stay in use, either by being re-used or turned into new materials – creating infinite circles of use

Waste is designed out of the system.

Pivotal to the success of the circular economy is the use of renewable energy both in the manufacture and use of products.

With waste eliminated, the planet’s natural resources – currently being depleted at an alarming rate – can start to regenerate.

For companies like TBT, and maybe your business too, it also means a more economical way of doing things.

What can we actually do?

Some big technology companies are already embracing the circular economy and we can follow their lead.

HPE has committed in a big way and is providing resources to help its customers to “capture new value from retired assets” and “improve business and sustainability outcomes”. Dell’s approach considers product design, materials, supply chain and what happens at end of life.

Cisco, meanwhile, backs its commitment with numbers – 100% of its products are already returnable for recycling, while it plans to incorporate circular design principles in all of its products by 2025.

"These firms have the power to make IT products more sustainable. It’s good to see them helping their customers to make changes too."

And you can join them by:

  • Transitioning to a renewable energy supplier
  • Choosing suppliers with sustainable solutions
  • Repairing or refurbishing your IT assets, instead of simply replacing with new
  • If not viable, work with the many businesses set up to keep them in the loop by passing them on to those who can still benefit from them
  • Create similar solutions for your customers by allowing them to return your products for repair or recycling

At a time when natural resources are increasingly scarce and expensive, adopting the closed-loop circular economy model is the only sustainable solution. Better still, this approach creates the need for exciting innovative solutions from businesses, which in turn will yield sustainable financial opportunities.

Here at TBT Marketing we know the value in sustainable business practice. Call us on +44 (0)1373 469270 or email us at [email protected] and we can help your business me more sustainable into the future and build marketing campaigns that are compatible with green thinking.

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