Techbuyer’s Best Year Yet for the Circular Economy?

2022 has been a year of breaking records; the most blindfolded backflips in a minute, the most Rubik's cubes solved on a skateboard, and importantly the biggest year of funding yet for the circular economy.  

Whilst we can’t contribute on the blindfolded backflip front, Techbuyer remained dedicated to championing the circular economy because we believe that a circular model is the best method for creating a sustainable future for our planet.  In 2022 we diverted a personal, record-breaking quantity of e-waste from landfill amounting to over 2.4 million lbs globally! 

Advancements for a circular economy have come from far and wide; not only are people taking notice, but we are celebrating the fact that businesses and individuals are taking the initiative to develop circular practices. In 2023 we want to encourage more of you to join us by developing your interest and taking action to promote a truly circular economy. 

2022 Wins for the Circular Economy  

The circular economy has had its most exciting year to date! In each of our global locations, we are seeing exciting announcements and developments for circular practices and a sustainable future. 

For example, in the UK, over the past four years, more than $1.8 billion has been invested into developing a circular strategy and model. However, in the first half of 2022, over $600 million was invested meaning that ongoing funding is predicted to reach a massive £1 billion investment for the circular economy development this year alone.

Similarly, here in the USA the right to repair movement, a core aspect of the circular movement, has become widely discussed, with President Biden publicly announcing his support and right to repair legislation now waiting to be signed into law by the Governor in the state of New York.

Diverting E-waste from Landfill Through ITAD and Purchasing 

Throughout our global offices we have been working to advance circularity. From our packaging to our high-quality refurbished devices, we have been looking at how each area of our business can support a circular model and fuel an increasingly sustainable future.  

Buying used technology and supplying high-quality refurbished IT hardware is Techbuyer’s focus, and we use this to divert as much e-waste as possible away from landfill.  

In 2019, we signed up to support the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and have set targets over a six-year period. One of these goals is to divert 4,000,000 kilos of e-waste from landfill and in 2022 we achieved over 1.1 million kilos, taking our overall total to 2,585,000 (or 5,698,949 lbs!). Explore our commitment to the UN Global Goals and where we are at our three-year point here.

With a zero to landfill policy, we ensure that each device, component and IT system we receive through our ITAD, sell to us and trade in services, is sustainably dealt with, whether that is through refurbishment, reuse, repair or recycling. Responsibly dispose of your IT hardware and fuel the circular IT economy by getting in touch here.  

Circular Business Practices and Advocating for a Circular Future 

We understand that developing a circular economy focussed business goes beyond the products and services we sell; we needed to create a circular internal business model to match. This year, we have been working to reduce the waste that we generate as a company and make our practices more circular. 

In 2021, we worked with our packaging supplier to develop a more environmentally friendly packaging solution to ship our products safely and sustainably for our UK facilities. We have continued our work in this area throughout 2022 by conducting research into sustainable packaging practices and working to reduce waste from our warehouse.  

We switched over to biodegradable document holders from plastic this year in the UK; we use 12,000-15,000 pieces per month across the warehouse, so this is a massive saving on our plastic waste. Our Harrogate based warehouse also switched to bubble wrap made with 30%+ recycled content, reducing our use of virgin plastic materials and supporting the development of a more circular plastics market.  

In the coming year we are looking to expand our sustainable packaging focus and work with our partnerships to advance our own internal systems. We have much more to accomplish, for example, expanding our sustainable packaging to our global facilities, and this will be a key focus for Techbuyer coming into 2023.  

In the US, we wrote a letter to Senator Cory Booker requesting his support for the right to repair movement. This resulted in a meeting between Techbuyer and the Senator's staffers, raising awareness for the need for right to repair legislation in the US.  

Our German team contributed to an Anthology on Myths of the Circular Economy, breaking stereotypes on circular practices and the importance of the circular economy. Members of Techbuyer Germany also got out onto the streets of Goch to take part in a community clean up and reduce the waste in their environment.  

 Our French team donated refurbished laptops to a local school, preventing those devices from ending up in landfill and helping to get technology into the hands of those that need it.  
Globally, we launched our Green Friday campaign, demonstrating that by harnessing the power of circularity we can drive forward progress and encourage our customers to trade in their used technology over the Black Friday period. Our Trade In service is available to customers worldwide and is a sustainable way to dispose of your used technology whilst extending the life of the device. Trade in your devices here.  

Furthermore, Techbuyer is a full partner of the Circular Economy in the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI), a multi-million Interreg-funded project that charts the path for the circular economy in the data center sector. We work with CEDaCI to further the cause for a circular IT economy throughout Europe. 

We attended over 20 events in 2022 at which we were able to promote circularity in the data center and IT sectors to industry experts and leading organizations, including Data Centre World Paris and IT Partners. At these events our Head of Sustainability, and Chartered Environmentalist, Astrid Wynne, presented with a discussion on the importance of circularity in the IT sector, as well as the performance capabilities of refurbished technology.  

At these events we were also able to promote energy efficient hardware use in the data center industry through our sister company, Interact. The Interact tool offers in-depth reporting on the performance and efficiency of data center estates to identify weaknesses and recommends upgrades for IT hardware to improve the overall efficiency, carbon footprint, and cost savings. Find out more about Interact here.  

These achievements have been supported by the hard work of our team in each location. From our employee-led Sustainability Committee to each department, our team is continuously looking for innovative ways to improve the impact of Techbuyer on the environment.  

We are proud of the work that they have done, as well as the recognition that they receive in the form of awards and nominations. Techbuyer UK was awarded the TECH4GOOD award at this year’s Northern Tech Awards, as well as Best Circular Economy Company at the CRN Tech Impact Awards. We also took home the Circular Economy Silver Award at the Global Good Awards. These awards are a testament to our team’s work and dedication to creating a sustainable IT industry.  

Advancing the Circular Economy 

The circular economy has had an impressive year, and it is through the small contributions we all make that we edge closer to a sustainable future. Every piece of IT hardware diverted from landfill, every refurbished technology purchase, and every product repaired or upgraded contributes to a circular economy on a large scale.  

Through the dedication of our team, the support of our customers, and the increasing interest in sustainability, we have had a record-breaking year for Techbuyer and the circular economy globally.  

But it doesn’t end here. 

Every organization and every individual can contribute towards a thriving circular economy model, and we are determined to offer this opportunity to our customers through IT systems and hardware, alongside technology services. Get in touch to find out how you can advance the circular IT economy and adapt your technology habits to support a sustainable future here.

We are encouraged by the attention that the circular economy has received this year; at Techbuyer we are proud of the contributions that we have made, and we continue to remain committed to circular IT model. 

2023 has a lot to live up to, but we are proud to say that we will continue to champion and nurture the development of a truly circular economic model.