Why is solving this challenge relevant for DEIF/society/the environment?
Electronic waste is a growing global problem. At the same time, electronic components can have a significant environmental impact due to their material composition (i.e., due to mining of minerals and metals). Yet since these components are a central part in many products, solutions need to be found to address both sides – the design side as well as the re-looping at the end of a product life cycle. Even though DEIF is not in the business of consumer electronics, we need to ensure, that our products are handled responsibly increasing the number of components, which are reused or the amount of material that is recycled. Ultimately this should feed back into the design process and manufacturing of our solutions.
Which elements should be considered and integrated into the ideas/solutions for the suggestion to be of value to DEIF?
Before we jump to conclusion and start with a solution, the outset is very important. Thus a basic question needs to be answered at the very beginning.
Which problems do we wish to solve?
Do we want to:
- support our customers in discarding the product responsibly?
- contribute to the highest degree of recycling, upcycling, or looping to other players/industries?
- ensure a flow back of components, which can support the supply chain set up by lowering the dependence on imports?
- minimize the environmental impact of DEIF’s products at the end of life?
- solve other challenges
- tackle all of the above?
There are several aspects to this project, which should be explored based on the different problems we are trying to solve. This entails an analysis of the various strategies, which include the following elements:
Roles, interest and capabilities of main stakeholders:
- DEIF, strategic recycling partners, local recyclers, other industries
Main perspectives in resource looping:
- Recycling: recycling only – entering global material flow, recycling with loop to other industries, recycling with loop to DEIF’s supply chain
- Reuse of components: direct reuse of components for DEIF products, reuse of components by other industries
Analyses to embed:
- Best practices: which companies have succeeded or are well on their way in tackling the looping of electronic components? What are the learnings for DEIF? Are there any collaboration suggestions/ possibilities?
- Legal aspects: Movement of waste across borders, responsibility of collection of waste, economy?
- Environmental Impact: benefits / draw backs / awareness points / CO2 emissions?
- Access to products: Incentivizing customers to return the products
- Financial estimates of different strategies
- Use of data, traceability of the products
What should be the result after the implementation of the suggested solution?
- A good overview of the pros and cons of the different end-of-life strategies
- A clear vision of which end-of-life strategy(s) is (are) to be pursued
- A good understanding of the awareness points
- A catalogue of good examples to follow (by other organizations/ companies
- Outlined collaboration possibilities
Which competences are relevant for DEIF’s Green Challenge?
- Environmental understanding of the challenge and possible solutions
- Electronics/electronic components and their recycling/reuse potential
- Circular economy
- Reverse supply chain
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