14 Apr 2017

The Contribution of the Digital Industry in a Circular Economy

The Contribution of the Digital Industry in a Circular Economy


The European Commission defines a circular economy as a set of activities in which “the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible and the generation of waste minimised”. The European Parliament Research Service states that a circular economy is (partly) “based on sharing, leasing, reuse, repair, refurbishment”, to which one should add remanufacturing. DIGITALEUROPE would like to outline how its members are contributing already today to the circular economy through their repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing activities. With a focus on the inner loops of the Circular Economy, our contribution to recycling is not part of this paper.

DIGITALEUROPE members already treat repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing activities as part of their business practice. They are hereby helping to reduce environmental impacts, create jobs and growth and deliver real benefits to the consumers. DIGITALEUROPE companies perform millions of repairs annually. Refurbishment and remanufacturing is a longstanding practice in B2B and high value segments of our industry.

In order to provide cost efficient repair and remanufacturing services, Members of DIGITALEUROPE have established central facilities inside and outside of the EU. Within Europe, these are based, among others, in: Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, UK and many more EU Member States. Some companies choose a more decentralised model for after sales service in B2C in geographies corresponding to their market presence, often resulting in a coverage of virtually all of Europe.

This infrastructure, next to the waste collection and treatment facilities, is the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe. It contributes to reuse and increased lifetime of IT devices on the European market.

Back to Sustainability
View the complete Policy Paper
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