In the publication « The contribution of the Digital Industry to repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment in a Circular Economy”, DIGITALEUROPE describes longstanding business practices in the ICT sector which represent, next to waste collection and treatment facilities, the circular economy backbone of the ICT industry in Europe.

Once a product has been purchased, its lifetime can be extended through reuse, repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing. These are flourishing practices in the ICT sector and a key contributor to the economic and environmental benefits of the circular economy. The recently published paper describes how DIGITALEUROPE members are contributing already today to a circular economy by means of an established infrastructure. Through repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing activities in centralized facilities in and outside Europe, they help to reduce environmental impacts and create jobs and growth. They also deliver real benefits such as safe, durable and reusable products to the consumers.

The paper also outlines a number of principles that should guide standardisation and legislation of the aftersales market in order to enable DIGITALEUROPE member companies to expand this business and contribute further to the circular economy. Inter alia, the paper advises against addressing reuse, repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing in waste legislation and encourages official recognition of the potential of established business practices of the ICT industry to the circular economy.

The transition to a more circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible is an essential contribution to the EU’s efforts to develop a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy.