The widespread innovations in modern digital technology have a devastating downside to it: the accumulation of over 50 million tonnes of electronics waste (e-waste) globally every year. And that’s greater in weight than all of the world’s commercial airliners ever made, or enough Eiffel Towers to fill the borough of Manhattan in New York city, warns a new report released at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos,
hen I travel outside Europe I’m happy to see the positive image that our little continent projects in terms of producing quality products and establishing progressive environmental legislation. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Europe is a perfect model, and we are well aware of our own contradictions: the way European countries export their waste to other regions without taking into account the impact it will have, or the double standards applied by certain European companies when they operate abroad, are just some of them.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is stepping up its efforts to support the circular economy. At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the WBCSD launched the Factor 10 initiative. Supported by 30 companies, with combined revenues of $1.3 trillion, it will strive to transform how ‘business produces, uses and disposes of the materials that make up global trade by moving away from the traditional take-make-dispose economic model to one that is regenerative by design’.
Just a fraction of global resources are re-used according to new research – but can we close the loop in time? In October a major UN report confirmed what most of the climate world already knew: that the carbon reduction pledges made by nations at the Paris Summit in 2015 are insufficient if the world is to avert dangerous global warming.