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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Remanufacturing – the Missing Link in Recycling (By Andy Tomkins)

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By Andy Tomkins, Canon’s EMEA Sustainability Engagement Supervisor (www.Canon-CNA.com).

We’re all making vital adjustments to the way in which we dwell in order that we will cut back our environmental impression. The merchandise we use, how we journey, and even what we eat are all selections that have to be made with sustainability in thoughts. As we rejoice World Atmosphere Day, we have to deepen public consciousness of the necessity to protect and improve the setting.

Whereas as people we must always all be doing our bit, change, in fact, largely must be pushed by governments and organisations. Due to the Inexperienced Deal, in 2019 particular person nation states and the enterprise working inside them are actually obliged to step up within the battle in opposition to local weather change and meet the EU’s pledge of turning into the primary carbon impartial continent by 2050.

From a enterprise perspective, there’s an enormous variety of methods and new approaches that can be utilized to work in the direction of this aim. And naturally, the business wherein an organization operates in may even go a way in figuring out the areas of funding, analysis and innovation they’ll concentrate on to decrease their carbon emissions within the quest of turning into a climate-neutral society.

Nevertheless, one of many easiest approaches has been outlined by the phrase ‘cut back, reuse, recycle’. As a theoretical hierarchy, it’s simply utilized to each client habits and enterprise operations. Scale back actions that negatively impression the setting in the event you can. In case you can’t, then take a look at how you may reuse merchandise or supplies. Failing that, recycle as a lot as you’ll be able to to make sure nothing goes to waste.

Many companies and people are making an lively effort to cut back environmental impression, particularly by aligning with the idea of the round economic system, which in some methods formalises the ‘cut back, reuse, recycle’ hierarchy. However whereas estimates declare that widescale adoption of round economic system practices in Europe might halve CO2 emissions by 2030 (https://bit.ly/38RVKAc), regardless of how a lot we attempt to cut back our impression on the setting, or to reuse issues, there’ll all the time be a requirement from shoppers for brand spanking new, high-quality merchandise.

Whereas recycling might help to make sure supplies from previous merchandise are being reused the place potential, there’s a number of time, cash and power that goes into recovering these supplies. This can be a specific problem within the tech business, with figures from the European Environmental Company (https://bit.ly/3x7KVlB) displaying that e-waste recycling is lagging notably behind packaging and residential waste.

This lacking hyperlink within the chain is remanufacturing – a course of that delivers higher high quality merchandise than resale or easy refurbishment, whereas being extra environment friendly and economically sensible than recycling in lots of conditions. It’s an strategy that progressive producers are intently, and if it’s scaled, might go some technique to serving to us make the adjustments we have to assist the setting.

What’s remanufacturing?

Shopping for issues second hand can typically be an environmentally accountable resolution. It’s cheaper than shopping for new and is seen nearly as good for the planet. In instances like classic clothes, will be an necessary cultural selection too. When high quality is the precedence in a buying resolution, second hand can typically be seen because the poorer choice.

That is most prevalent in relation to tech, the place efficiency is vital. Whereas second hand shopping for remains to be considerably frequent, and refurbished merchandise (previous gadgets which were barely mounted up) go a way in the direction of addressing the standard concern, we’re usually nonetheless involved with having one thing new and glossy that we all know will carry out optimally.

That is the place remanufacturing is available in. Relatively than merely taking again second-hand gadgets, giving them a contemporary lick of paint in order that they dwell on a bit bit longer, remanufacturing takes second-hand gadgets and rebuilds them to carry out like a brand new product.

Remanufacturing improves upon refurbishment by way of its concentrate on efficiency and intensive testing which ensures that buyers are receiving what is basically a brand new product, versus merely extending the lifetime of an present one.

Whereas the precise course of differs relying on the gadget, the intention is to maintain as a lot because the previous gadget in potential whereas changing key elements to make sure excessive efficiency – it might contain protecting the physique of an previous product and changing electrical elements inside or taking out bodily components of the gadget which have worn down over time and want changing.

By sustaining as a lot because the previous gadget as potential, remanufacturing provides a giant profit over recycling by decreasing the period of time and power spent on recovering and processing supplies to be used within the creation of latest merchandise. Mixed with the high-performance on provide, it helps to fulfill shoppers’ demand for brand spanking new, high quality know-how, whereas limiting the impression on the setting.

Remanufacturing the longer term

Past its environmental advantages, remanufacturing additionally has nice financial potential. It may unlock new income streams for companies, decreasing the prices related to sourcing new uncooked supplies or recycling previous ones, whereas interesting to shoppers prepared to pay for merchandise which might be each environmentally pleasant and top quality.

So, if so, why isn’t remanufacturing extra frequent? The print business is main the way in which, with each ink cartridges and workplace printers typically present process the method, however wide-scale remanufacturing throughout your entire tech sector appears far off.

There are a number of the explanation why, one of many major ones being our strategy to product design. Whereas many producers have began pondering extra about how they will make their merchandise simpler to recycle, most are nonetheless not contemplating remanufacturing.

It’s one thing that requires appreciable planning and innovation as a result of it goes past simply making merchandise recyclable or repairable – cautious thought must be given to what components of the product need to be made to final and what shall be changed, whether or not meeting will be automated, and even how merchandise will be returned for remanufacturing. Enterprise should be prepared to take a position and innovate in new manufacturing processes and operations that account for this if they’re going reap the environmental and financial rewards of remanufacturing.

However maybe the largest problem is that it’s poorly understood, if in any respect. Educating shoppers on the distinction between a remanufactured gadget and a refurbished one is vital for overcoming hesitancy round buying ‘second hand’. On the similar time, there’s a transparent want for extra consideration and encouragement from governments and regulators to assist make remanufacturing a regular business apply.

Remanufacturing is one in all many ways in which we might help to construct a greater future for our planet, however one that companies, governments and shoppers alike needs to be extra conscious of and invested in to assist it develop and succeed.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA).

This Press Launch has been issued by APO. The content material isn’t monitored by the editorial staff of African Enterprise and never of the content material has been checked or validated by our editorial groups, proof readers or truth checkers. The issuer is solely accountable for the content material of this announcement.

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