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Many of us own about 10’000 things. Our habit of consuming is so much more than we need. The more we buy, the more raw materials are mined, and the more CO2 is emitted during production. Today’s „take-make-dispose“ system generates shocking amounts of waste, harming the climate and the living conditions of our planet and all our lives. This waste is mainly created by throwing away products entirely, even though individual elements are still flawless and functional. From the point of view of the circular economy, this is a lost value. The Future only happens if there is one, and to guarantee it, we must limit our consumption. Accordingly, we can no longer stand aside and watch the current throwaway culture.

In this blog post, we take a closer look at the problems of the linear economy and how we can learn from them and transform our future toward a circular economy.

Why do we need to shift?

Our current economic system is based on the linear principle of extracting natural resources, consuming them, and generating vast waste. Yet resource consumption has tripled since 1970 and could even double again by 2050 if we continue as usual. The transition to a circular economy requires us to come together and commit to doing things fundamentally differently. We need a change now!

Graphic representing Prime Computer's Circular Economy concept

The problem with e-waste

According to the United Nation’s Global E-Waste monitor, e-waste is the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream. Its disposal contributes to climate change due to the chemicals released when it gets burned. Furthermore 10 % of all electricity consumption and 4 % of all carbon emissions worldwide stem from the ICT industry.

E-waste is hazardous because the components used to make devices contain metals and chemicals known to harm human health. Children in Third World countries often work, live, and play in or near e-waste recycling centres and are therefore especially vulnerable.

Our electronics products should be really expensive as they rely on a lot of manpower for material extraction and manufacturing. However, this labor force is outsourced to countries where local governments are recognised to ignore social responsibilities. Indeed, their price and value remain low because of complex supply chains making it difficult to manage human rights risks and a high concentration of cheap labour.

Rare earth metals are critical to the high-tech society we live in as an essential component of mobile phones, computers and many other everyday devices. But increasing demand and limited global supply mean we must urgently find a way to recover these metals efficiently from discarded products.

circular modularity

The Future of Green Computing is Circular Modularity

To combat the e-waste problem, we introduce the ultimate hardware revolution since Prime Computer was founded. Breakthrough technology meets innovative Green IT design: we’re going one step further and taking sustainable IT to the next level.

At Prime Computer, we accelerate the global transition to a circular future of work and life. We’re making a revolutionary system that helps our customers overcome climate challenges and high costs.

We’re currently working on the second product in our new circular product line, which completes the idea of the circular use of the card element. The green movement has just begun!

Picture shows a changeable Hardware Modul

“Circular by Design” – Circular Modularity explained

A key part of Prime Computer’s Circular by Design principles is to consider sustainability at every stage of a product’s life cycle, from initial concept to use and recycling.

Thanks to the modular components integrated into the new Circular product portfolio, the life cycle of the devices is extended, and there are less e-waste and, therefore, less CO2 emissions.

Prime Computer’s Circular devices can be configured at the time of purchase and later if the device’s use case and performance requirements have changed. The modular components of Circular products are backwards compatible. This means they are interchangeable and can be upgraded to future generations within the Prime Computer Circular product line without changing the rest of the hardware.

This way, we lead to a more resilient economy and a healthier planet.

The principle of a Prime Computer Circular product

  • You can think of the product life cycle as a spiral.
  • You buy a Prime Computer Circular product like our PrimeBook Circular, which comes with a flexible module. This module includes CPU, graphics card, RAM and Wi-Fi.
  • After a few years, you want to upgrade your notebook because your use case has changed. That means you need more computing power, a faster graphics card and more RAM.
  • Instead of replacing the entire hardware, you replace the flexible module of your PrimeBook with a new module that meets your individual requirements.
  • Your PrimeBook Circular is now upgraded and you have successfully and sustainably extended the product’s life cycle – you can repeat this step as often as you like.
  • You can return the used module to Prime Computer (or through a Prime Computer partner) for a credit. We will give this module a new life by installing it in a new mini-PC. This Mini-PC will be used in applications where the performance and features of older generations of processors are just right. So not even the used module will be thrown away.

Conclusion

Through the wasteful lifestyle of our society and the resource-consuming production, the planet is harmed, and nature gets damaged. Especially the area of e-waste is growing faster and faster. Therefore, we must strive for change, especially in IT. The solution is Circular Modularity, and this allows IT hardware to be used sustainably. The product’s life cycle can be extended through interchangeable and reusable modules.

 

Fynn explains the Circular Modularity principle

Fynn Wohlgensinger, Head of Research & Development explains the characteristics that it takes to make hardware green and circular.

Our Newsletter

We’re currently working on the second product in our new circular product line, which completes the idea of the circular use of the card element. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter now and don’t miss the announcement.

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Today’s take-make-waste system generates shocking amounts of waste. E-waste is dangerous because the components used to make devices contain metals and chemicals known to be harmful to human health. At Prime Computer, we are accelerating the global transition to a circular future of work and life, meaning we are developing products designed for a lifetime of use. This revolutionary system helps our customers overcome climate challenges and high costs. An important part of Prime Computer’s Circular by Design principles is to consider sustainability at every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from initial concept to use and recycling. Thanks to the modular components integrated into the new Circular product portfolio, the life cycle of the equipment is extended, and less electronic waste is generated, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. For us, this is another step towards a truly circular economy.

 

Nachhaltigkeit Berge Swiss Mountains

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