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Can consumer electronics be green? Check out our new report “Impulses of Circularity” to find out!

07.04.22|5 min

Do you make, manufacture or distribute consumer electronics? Looking for a vision of development for your company or organization? Want to comply with the principles of Circular Economy but don’t know how to take the first step? Maybe you’d like to set new ambitious goals for your business?  Or inspire yourself and your team? If any of these questions describes your needs, then the latest issue of our “Impulses of Circularity” is for you.   

Circularity is not the future, it is slowly becoming a reality. There are many reasons for this, one of the most important being legislation, including the European Green Deal. It is a strategy whose overarching goal is to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. Consumers’ growing awareness, inspiring change at grass-roots level, is not without significance either. Also, some enterprises have started seeing the benefits that the circular economy can bring to them.  

In recent years, the number of circular economy initiatives has increased significantly. However, it is still not a complete economic system. No organization can be considered 100% circular as of now, yet there are circular signals – impulses of a green change that are increasingly interesting.  

“Impulses of Circularity” is our second publication in which we share our knowledge, experience and best practices to inspire more companies and show what benefits circularity can offer to businesses. This time, we are exploring the consumer electronics industry. 

This article collects the most important facts that we hope will inspire you to read the full version of the publication. We encourage you to read the full version of Impulses of Circularity, available here.  

Why consumer electronics?  

In this issue, we look at well-known consumer electronics companies which are implementing circular economy principles in their design and business models. According to Eurostat data, electro-waste is the fastest growing stream of waste, less than 40% of which is recycled. Therefore, every circular impulse in the industry is particularly important.  

The industry is still struggling with a relatively short-lived product consumption. We replace our smartphones every two years and buy a new laptop because a new generation has appeared. Are older equipment models unrepairable? Could we extend the life cycle of these products, ensuring that worn parts can be replaced or introducing subscription plans instead of purchasing on a larger scale? 

Answer these questions and you’ll see why it’s hard to count consumer electronics among “products that last” or “products that flow”. It is particularly harmful to lump them together with FMCG products. 

The theme of this issue is not only relevant, but it’s also something we’ve seen and done in practice. Ergodesign’s portfolio includes designs in the area of consumer electronics. This time, however, we are looking at designing consumer electronics from the angle of circularity and sustainability. 

Explore good practices  

Before you start acting yourself, it’s a good idea to find out how others are doing it first. Although the consumer electronics industry is not widely known for its circular initiatives, many companies do show interest in the topic. Our Impulses of Circularity” feature case studies of four brands: 

  • Dell
  • Electrolux
  • Bang & Olufsen
  • Gerrard Street

The examples we have selected are brands that communicate openly about their circularity initiatives and ambitions, and are therefore perceived as pioneers in this respect. We hope they will provide a valuable inspiration for you.

Get specific tools  

In the latest edition of our publication, we also share our original circularity assessment tool called Circular Loop Canvas. We discuss the essence of our diagram and explain what it can be used for.  

At Ergodesign, we have repeatedly faced the challenge of guiding the client through the process of change in the spirit of circularity. Working on a strategy and designing guidelines for products and services is a multi-level process. To make it more concrete and to have a single common diagram for everyone to use, we have developed our proprietary tool.  

Ten commandments of circularity 

The publication ends with our ten commandments of circularity. We decided to go for this number of tips inspired by Dieter Rams’s 10 Principles of Good Design. We selected the good practices with consumer electronics companies striving for circular economy in mind, but the collection is universal and will also work for brands in other sectors. 

3 out of 10 Principles of Good Design according to Dieter Rams 

Where do you start off with circularity? 

For your business to go on the green track, you not only need a multidimensional analysis – most importantly, you need to take a number of strategic steps. The most important thing, however, is a willingness to act. 

We contribute to a sustainable future by providing design solutions and working with clients on their circular strategies. But you can have your share too.  

Make your business more competitive in a modern economy. Want to start working with us? Book an appointment for a consultation meeting now. 


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