Climate and environmental impact of electronics
Every year, millions of phones, laptops and other electronic equipment are thrown away that could have been refurbished and used for longer.
Electronic waste contains toxic metals and substances, and many countries that deal with waste lack recycling infrastructure. As a result, much of the IT waste ends up in landfills, with leaking substances causing harm to the environment and people. It's a dark side of IT that's important to highlight, especially since only 46% of the world's CEOs are aware of their own company's IT footprint*. At Inrego, we want to change that!
Minerals and metals needed to produce IT products are also mined in countries where human rights are often violated.
Most of the waste occurs during production...
About 80% of the total waste occurs during the production of new IT. The production of a computer requires 22 kg of chemicals, 1,500 litres of water and 1,200 kg of waste. Buying a refurbished product instead of a new one can therefore save a lot of waste and carbon emissions.
To illustrate the climate impact of a mobile phone, let's look at an iPhone 11. During its life cycle, a total of 72 kg of CO₂ is emitted. The emissions can be divided into 4 categories: production, transport, use and recycling. By recycling an iPhone 11, you save about 57 kg CO₂ compared to buying a new one, as 79% of the emissions occur during production.
If we look at a laptop such as the Dell Latitude 5410, we see the same pattern. So it's by keeping products in use longer that we can drastically reduce our carbon footprint.