Environmental benefits of reusing IT

Inrego presents a new industry standard for measuring the environmental benefits

Inrego and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute are publishing a new database model to measure the environmental savings of reusing IT. The model is open and free to use for the entire IT reuse industry and anyone who is interested in measuring the environmental savings of reusing IT. The goal is to create a standard for the entire industry and to help companies and organisations to purchase and dispose of used IT equipment.

The new database is independent and was developed by scientists to calculate environmental savings for IT equipment down to component level. The model contains information on many different categories of IT products such as laptops, monitors, smartphones, tablets, printers as well as accessories such as adapters, keyboards and RAM memory.

“We have been working on reusing IT equipment for over 25 years, and we see that IT buyers' interest in sustainability is constantly increasing. We are very pleased that we can now share this database model with everyone who is planning to invest in IT, showcasing what economic and environmental savings an investment in reconditioned products would bring. We also have high hopes these types of calculations will become standard so that everyone in the industry can use them,” says Erik Pettersson, Environmental Manager at Inrego.

Today, virtually all IT equipment can be refurbished and given a new life resulting in major environmental and financial savings. The calculations in the model assume that the reuse of a product results in a similar newly manufactured product not being bought, and therefore not being manufactured. Buying a reused laptop instead of a new one can, for example, save 280 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Reusing computer monitors offers even greater savings – a massive 520 kg of carbon dioxide emissions on average.

The new database model, developed by Inrego together with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, is unique in its kind as the impact of all components has been analysed, and it can also be easily updated with new products and components as they come out. This gives buyers completely new opportunities to measure the climate impact of their new investments in IT equipment.

“We hope this database model will inspire more people and organisations to reuse equipment. The idea is that the model will be used by companies who want to calculate the climate benefits of reuse for their customers. It can also be used by organisations that want to measure and see how they can reduce their climate impact by reusing IT products,” says Karin Sanne from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

The database model is available in report format on Inrego’s and IVL’s websites and is perfect to use to calculate environmental savings in other sectors where reuse may be relevant. In addition to the database, there is also a structured description of how similar databases can be developed for other stakeholders and industries.