The normal life cycle of a product is like a straight line that starts with the extraction of raw materials from the earth and ends when the product reaches its useful life and is disposed of or recycled. In many cases, this model contributes to climate change by increasing pollution, waste, energy consumption and accelerating the depletion of natural resources. Recycling alone will not stop this trend. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse climate change is a key step that will require businesses worldwide to adopt circular economy practices.
The circular economy represents a radical transformation of the entire life cycle of product development. From design and engineering methodologies to manufacturing and delivery and maintenance repair and operations (MRO), the circular economy focuses on extending the life of products with an emphasis on reuse or resale to secondary markets rather than recycling or disposal. Second, when recycling and disposal is required, it is done using best practices that minimize environmental impact.
Where to start?
Celestica has mapped its circular economy initiatives to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those addressing issues related to energy conservation, economic growth, sustainable production and consumption, climate change and global water conservation.
The Celestica Global Services team advises clients on how to make measurable progress towards their sustainability goals through a circular approach to product design. This requires strategically building products that will last by maximizing performance while taking into account reusability and recyclability, so that the user does not have to accept performance or functional degradation at any point in the product’s life. To achieve this, we focus on design, manufacturing and life-cycle services, while reducing or effectively eliminating cost markups to enable decision-making at scale where small cost adders have significant short-term consequences.
Products that are efficiently designed and manufactured according to circular principles allow companies to optimize their reuse. This extends the life of the product beyond the initial use case and facilitates our customers’ ability to generate multiple revenue cycles. By leveraging our extensive network of value-added resellers, we help our customers prioritize upcycling – the process of recapturing components and materials so they can be reused to create new products with greater value and utility – giving products new life in a variety of industries or applications . This approach allows our customers to amortize both their manufacturing carbon footprint and Total Cost of Ownership (TCOOTM) over a longer period of time, keeping products in use longer.
“Celestica’s engineering teams work with our customers throughout the product development lifecycle to incorporate modularity into product designs, ensure sub-design and reuse of individual components across multiple applications,” said Gavin Cato, Manager and CTO, Hardware Platform Solutions at Celestica . “This forward-looking insight into reuse is one of the many ways we help our customers develop circular models for managing products with manufacturability, simplified maintenance, optimal reuse and upgradeability, each of which plays a key role in sustainable practices. Hyperscale data centers in particular present an opportunity to drive transformation by prioritizing longer life cycles and multiple uses, which inevitably require rework and upgrade. Every day, Celestica brings its significant experience in the enterprise and data center markets to help improve the environment for current and future generations.”
Now is the time
Progress towards a global circular economy is necessary to put consumption on a sustainable path in line with the regenerative capacity of the earth.
The good news is that companies in several sectors, including technology, consumer goods and waste management, have started on the circular path and are forming alliances such as the Circular Electronics Partnership (CEP) and the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact to accelerate the maturation of the circular economy by setting high bars for best practices and aggressive reuse and repair targets.
Celestica is committed to empowering our customers to advance their sustainability goals by providing platform solutions and services that strengthen the circular economy. Our life-cycle extension capabilities and after-sales support, along with our decommissioning and upgrade services, improve material efficiency, reduce waste and leverage remanufacturing processes to produce more sustainable products and create new revenue-generating opportunities that maintain and service previous generations of products in a second and the third life cycle. By approaching the entire product lifecycle with circularity in mind, we fully support our customers on their journey to circularity, while enabling them to achieve their financial and sustainability goals.
“Our approach involves rethinking our own business around circularity,” says Rob Ellis, Celestica’s senior vice president of sustainability and chief legal officer. “There is an unmet need for full life cycle circularity that focuses on eco-efficiency, not just eco-efficiency. We are introducing a different vision where everything we do is designed circularly and with what is best for each of our customers and their individual’s sustainability goals.”