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CEO using the same computer for over 10 years to save the planet

14 Sep 2023, 01:53 pm
Financial Nigeria
CEO using the same computer for over 10 years to save the planet

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“It was my ambition when I got the notebook ten years ago to keep it for many years,” Sören Enholm, CEO of TCO Development.

TCO Development CEO Sören Enholm

Sören Enholm, CEO of TCO Development, has continued to use the same notebook computer for 10 years and still counting.

TCO Development is the organisation behind the global sustainability certification for IT products, TCO Certified, and one of the members of the Circular Electronics Initiative.

“It was my ambition when I got the notebook ten years ago to keep it for many years,” said Mr. Enholm in a statement TCO Development sent to Financial Nigeria. “I have taken good care of it. The only thing I have replaced is the battery. And I'm going to keep using the notebook until it doesn't work anymore. It will probably be when Windows 10 is no longer supported because Windows 11 does not work with old hardware.”

Rapid consumption and e-waste pose significant threats to our planet. According to the statement, in today’s linear economy, we take virgin natural resources to manufacture products, which often have a short lifespan before they are discarded. This leads to a number of serious sustainability issues, affecting human health and the environment.

The statement added that valuable natural resources are depleted, and toxic e-waste is accumulating at the record rate of 50 million metric tonnes every year. This equals the weight of nearly 4,500 Eiffel towers or 8.3 Pyramids of Giza. Adding to the problem, e-waste is often handled in unsafe ways, leading to human health problems and environmental degradation.

TCO Development said that in many cases, at least when it comes to electronics, the single most important thing one can do is to find ways to use existing products longer. This is especially necessary in the case of notebook computers, where 80 percent of the total sustainability impact comes from the manufacturing phase.

The EU average for circular material use for electrical and electronic equipment is around 40 percent, falling short of the EU goal of 65 percent from 2019 onwards. Every country has different prerequisites, but lots of more work is needed regardless, says Sophie Charpentier, project manager at Chalmers Industriteknik.

The Circular Electronics Initiative is a network of 28 organisations that collaborate with the aim of promoting a more sustainable use of IT products among politicians, companies, and the public.

“For a more sustainable approach to electronic goods we need to choose IT products that are made for a long life, use each product for a few more years, and finally resell used products for reconditioning and reuse. Also, when a company or an organisation welcomes a new employee, they should ask if he or she has a computer or phone that the company can buy or rent, thus avoiding two smartphones per person, for example,” Ms Charpentier.

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