Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing domestic waste stream. The amount of electric and electronic equipment used globally is increasing every year by 2.5 million tonnes, and only 17 percent of e-waste in 2019 was formally collected and recycled. Over time this has become a global environmental issue in need of attention.
Enter Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP). The CEP is paving the way as the first private sector alliance for circular electronics. Teaming up with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as a founding partner and Secretariat host, this partnership is bringing together experts, business leaders and global organizations. Work will include development of a roadmap that identifies 40 actions that must occur over the next 10 years to enable the industry to achieve circularity.
CEP founding members include: Cisco, Closing the Loop, Dell Technologies, Glencore, Google, KPMG International, Lanxess, Microsoft, Security Matters, Sims Limited and Vodafone, among others.
How does it work?
There are six pathways outlined and defined by the CEP, that is a direct result of the efforts of all contributing members. More than 80 experts from 40 companies contributed in creating a roadmap of objectives for key areas of the electronics value chain. It starts with input on design sourcing and manufacturing, and moves all the way through to reverse logistics and recycling.
The six pathways of the roadmap are outlined below:
- Design for circularity – Designing for dematerialization, longevity, reuse and recyclability and adopting specifications for sustainable materials and components.
- Drive demand for circular products and services – Creating demand for circular products and solutions, and creating a market incentive for manufacturers to scale existing circular solutions and business models, and innovate in entirely new ways.
- Scale responsible business models – Unlocking the full economic potential of circular electronics.
- Increase official collection rate – Repurposing includes the reuse of products and components through repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, re-use/reprocessing or parts harvesting and the high-quality recycling of materials where reuse is not a viable option.
- Aggregate for reuse and recycling – A reverse supply chain moves end-of-use products from areas with a surplus of end-of-use electronics to areas with the capacity for high-quality, safe and efficient repurposing (e.g. repair, refurbishment or recycling).
- Scale secondary material markets – Reducing demand for virgin materials and closing the loop on materials for circular electronics.
Sims Lifecycle Services, as a business of Sims Limited, is involved in pertinent contributions at meetings, creation and review of pathway reports, and collaboration alongside other pathway group members to discover benefits. These efforts all contribute to the development of the roadmap for circular electronics.
Learn more about SLS’s involvement in the Circular Electronics Partnership.