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IT Sustainability Think Tank: How collaboration and partnerships enable a circular economy

It requires a village to create a credible and robust IT sustainability strategy, usually are not should enterprise leaders be collaborating with to create their organisations green IT goals possible?

Katy Medlock


Published: 03 Aug 2022

Sustainable practice has turned into a focus for most businesses following a international Paris Agreement in 2015. The vast majority of the worlds largest companies now publish sustainability reports, and one-third of Europes public companies have pledged to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Waste presents one of the biggest, and quickest, opportunities to attain those targets. Just as much as 40% of food grown on the planet is wasted, in accordance with WWF. And our method of technology is not any better, with 35% of British people upgrading their phones before their previous device stopped working, in accordance with Back Markets recent research. The perfect solution is seems simple. Right?

Having said that, achieving a really circular economy one where waste material are reused for new purposes will demand extensive collaboration between multiple organisations involved. Also it must be efficient enough to stay profitable for everybody.

Among the easiest ways companies can help advance our society towards a circular economy is by partnering with businesses working at other stages of exactly the same supply chain from transport, logistics, packaging and also marketing. Whenever a business sets out to place sustainability in the centre of its purpose, there exists a responsibility because of this that applies at multiple touchpoints.

Embrace your competition

These partnerships can help reduce unnecessary friction by promoting collaboration over competition.

For instance, Back Market recently partnered with re-commerce business MusicMagpie, which buys and refurbishes used technology. This partnership allows MusicMagpie to market its tech through our very own marketplace, streamling the devices journey in to the new owners hands and promoting sustainable practice simultaneously.

The purpose of partnerships like these would be to drive broader awareness, experiencing multiple audiences by dealing with partners that share an identical view of the planet.

Champion the

Supporting non-competitor businesses which are pursuing similar goals is really a key pillar for Back Market, and we believe it can help everyone get nearer to a circular economy and elevate smaller businesses which have an identical vision.

We created a programme to provide visibility to independent brands from the circular economy, which sell everything except refurbished tech. Among those partners in France is Polre, which exclusively uses second-hand materials and accessories that it gleans from flea markets, garage sales, fairs, recycling centres, thrift stores along with other points of sale.

Every business includes a platform. They are able to utilize this solely for his or her own purposes to operate a vehicle sales and incremental revenue, or they are able to spend time buying the broader industry. This doesnt mean driving people from your personal services, but helping them create a lifestyle and purchasing cycle that’s better for the earth.

Review logistics to stay competitive

With regards to logistics, partnerships can serve a slightly different purpose.

This past year, we started dealing with ShipStation API, a multi-channel order management system that allows the business to provide convenient and cost-effective shipping options. Back Market believes that shipping time and costs certainly are a big barrier for consumers not buying refurbished, and when they are able to reduce this friction, more folks will look to change to non-new.

For most consumers, convenience remains one of the primary drivers, particularly within e-commerce with competition such as for example Amazon. When driving a sustainable agenda, it really is imperative that businesses remain competitive to make sure they are able to meet consumer demand and keep client satisfaction high.

Our partnership with ShipStation API integration enables Back Markets sellers to handle these issues head-on, providing them with more methods to meet up with the expectations of todays online shoppers. With partnerships across all major selling channels, e-commerce platforms and carriers, ShipStation offers a streamlined solution to optimise the shipping flow, which improves service levels and time-to-delivery metrics.

Challenge NGOs and like-minded organisations

Its all well and best for sustainable businesses to champion these practices, but how can be your brand actually making the change it out really wants to see on the planet?

While brands can perform a whole lot themselves, sometimes if you have a spot to prove, dealing with authorities in this space can provide your purpose added credibility, and offer you with additional tools to greatly help consumers understand your mission.

We challenged French organisation Ademe to handle a first-of-its-kind independent global study to reveal the real environmental impact of refurbished smartphones. The preliminary results explore four key indicators in measuring the digital footprint of refurbished tech raw material usage, skin tightening and emissions, water usage and e-waste and the outcomes are shocking.

The mission to produce a truly circular economy isn’t an instant fix. While independent analysis and partnerships such as this demonstrate the significance of a companys mission internally and externally, in addition they provide evidence on areas where we are able to improve, and opportunities to recognize new partners that will help us make it happen.

Like anything running a business, it is extremely difficult to accomplish everything. First, you have to accept that don’t assume all process in your organization will currently support your overarching mission. Once youve done this, and identified the areas that require to boost, partnerships will help you achieve your goals.

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