Linking reuse and employment
What if reusing rather than recycling could create jobs? This the view taken by the European Union, according to an own-initiative report published in July 2017. This report recommends that product lifecycles be extended through reuse: repairing and reusing rather than disposal/recycling. This could potentially create several hundred thousand jobs and have a major impact on environmental preservation.
In France, according to the Reeeboot study, 1500 non-relocatable jobs could be created. In addition, there would be a considerable impact on the environment, with annual savings of 810,000 tons of greenhouse gases and 6 billion litres of water, or the equivalent annual carbon footprint of 100,000 French people.
Fighting planned obsolescence by facilitating repairs to IT equipment is another way of creating jobs. Refurbishing 1000 computers ensures one stable job for one year. These jobs often provide people who have long been excluded from the job market with the opportunity to return to work.
“Citizen campaigning and the French resolve to fight planned obsolescence have created momentum at the European level. It is an excellent sign for the whole industry. We will carefully monitor the situation to make sure that the Commission now takes its role in this matter,” says Laetitia Vasseur enthusiastically. She is the co-founder and General Delegate of the HOP (Halte à l’obsolescence programmée – Stop planned obsolescence) organization.
The only way to achieve these encouraging figures is for companies to implement good practices. This is especially true for some large organizations which have a policy for recycling rather than reusing, refurbishing and supporting the circular economy. In addition, these figures only apply to the professional computer market. They do not include personal computers or other professional equipment: screens, printers, servers, network devices, televisions, etc.
It is a major challenge to develop the reuse/refurbishing channel for electronic equipment, which would both create jobs and a sustainable economy. Now it is time for large public and private companies to show the way.