Suffolk IT asset disposal firm, N2S, based in Bury St. Edmunds, is spearheading the fight against one of the world’s fastest-growing climate change problems: e-waste.
The company’s mission to deliver 100% circular e-waste management aligns with the WEEE Forum’s International E-Waste Day± campaign for a global recognition of the crisis, on 14 October.
Every IT device – from mobile phones, tablets and laptops to PCs and telephone exchanges – has a carbon footprint, contributing to human-made global warming.
According to the International Energy Agency* the ICT industry generates more than 53 million tonnes of e-waste every year – two per cent of the world’s emissions. This is the equivalent of all the commercial aircraft ever built!
The material value of this is worth at least £50 billion per annum including an estimated £7 billion of precious metals such as gold and silver.
Currently, under 20 percent of e-waste is recycled and much ends up in poorer countries across the world where it is dumped in landfill sites and burned, exposing the environment and humans to toxic fumes which then find their way into the water supply and food chain, poisoning animals, people and destroying the planet.
This is an incredibly serious problem. If nothing is done, e-waste is expected to more than double by 2050 to 120 million tonnes.
With over 30 years’ experience in providing solutions to end-of-life IT equipment, N2S is stepping up to the plate, championing the urgent need for the technology industry – and end user organisations – to take more effective action in tackling the growing mountain of e-waste and its impact on climate change.
Chairman and former England rugby international, Andy Gomarsall MBE explains, “There needs to be a global change in the way that e-waste managed – and it needs to happen now!
“N2S is leading the charge to rapidly and significantly, reduce the environmental impact of enterprise and cloud computing. The race to achieving below net zero emissions demands a more sustainable and circular approach. Our vision is for companies and consumers to use technology from 100% recycled metals using the greenest methods, stopping the need for export and using harmful acids.”
N2S is rising to the challenge, redefining the lifecycle of technology, by creating a 100% circular operation where every part of the equipment is recovered, recycled, reformed or restored for re-use.
Each year, the company recycles around 250,000 IT devices in the UK alone – and none of the equipment processed goes to landfill.
Furthermore, through innovative solutions such as its revolutionary biotechnology process, developed in partnership with Coventry University, critical raw materials including gold, platinum, nickel and copper, found in printed circuit boards that are used in nearly all electronic equipment, is now being recovered, using bacteria to oxidise the metal content.
It is estimated there is up to £15 billion in gold and silver used each year in the manufacture of new electronic devices and scientists have warned some of these substances are in limited supply. N2S’s biotechnology process helps to negate the need to further mine for raw materials.
“Through our innovations and circular IT lifecycle management solutions, we are altering the face of technology recycling and offering a secure and sustainable way for enterprise and industry to realise their Net Zero goals. Our aim is to deliver a worldwide zero-to-landfill solution for e-waste and bring positive outcomes to climate change.
“It is vital that the world wakes up to the e-waste crisis and takes action now, before it’s too late.”