Sustainable Technology Finance
Carbon Neutral Technology Corp’s TechAdvance carbon credit program provides a secure way for corporations to trade in their end-of-first-life technology for refurbishment and resale while earning carbon credits. This reduces their carbon footprint, while taking a load off their IT budgets.
The program also offers the opportunity to earn carbon credits by purchasing new technology through TechAdvance’s circular economy IT acquisition model.
In the first year, TechAdvance engaged over $150MM in new technology purchases allowing Canada Carbon Neutral to expand the program into the U.S. This is the kind of IT solution that comes from looking at a large, indeed institutional, problem and starting with the question, “Is it plugged in?”
Higher consumption rates, shorter life cycles and a lack of options for repairing technology have made E-waste the world’s fastest-growing waste stream. It’s a looming global crisis and one that can feel insurmountable. That’s why it’s good to know that Canada’s Carbon Neutral Technology Corp.’s innovative TechAdvance Technology Finance Program for Corporations is working to help put that waste back to work. Understanding that recent studies have found that most of the carbon footprint for end-user technology comes from the manufacturing process, Carbon Neutral wanted to find a way to reduce those pre-unboxing emissions.
Manufacturing currently makes up more than 75% of a laptop’s carbon footprint and more than 50% of a desktop’s carbon footprint. By giving the tech we already have, we have a longer life, thus reducing the rate at which we manufacture new tech we can drastically reduce the total carbon footprint of corporate technology.
That’s the reduce, reuse, reboot challenge that TechAdvance took up.
Research undertaken before the start of the project involved working with climate organisations to quantify the environmental benefit and emissions reductions that could be gained through the refurbishment and resale of corporate IT assets. The Carbon Neutral team wanted to determine the level of emissions that are avoided with a reuse model. To do this, the team looked at the most common current practices for electronic waste management and contrasted these with the average lifetime increase that could be expected from the reuse model. They found that the most common electronic waste management practice was landfilling.
It was determined that, through reuse, over the average 7-year life of a computer, the expected lifetime of a device increased by an additional 3.5 years, for a total of 10.5 years. This matters to all of us because by extending the useful life of the tech by at least 50%, the use of virgin materials and the corresponding GHG emissions required to manufacture a new device is avoided. Once the research phase was completed, the TechAdvance team engaged with environmental and climate groups to begin the development of the quantification process and carbon offset protocol. Working with environmental partners Bluesource, Green Knight Inc., and ClimeCo, the team’s process included the selection and justification of the baseline scenario, while mapping out scenarios of the pathways for end-of-first-life technology management to ensure additionality.
The carbon credits were then verified by an unbiased 3rd party climate specialist – Brightspot Climate Co, which focuses on greenhouse gas quantification and verification.
The final stage of the process is the registration of the carbon credits with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) in a format that meets the requirements of CSA’s CleanProjects™ Registry and the ISO 14064-Part 2 guidelines and principles. With the Carbon Credit protocol in place, Carbon Neutral’s TechAdvance has been able to generate and provide carbon credits back to corporations who recognize a win when they see one. These corporations work with Carbon Neutral to enter their new purchases or end-of-first-life IT assets into a circular economy model, which ensures that all the devices in play will be put into a reuse process at the end of the technology refresh cycle.
Carbon Neutral is the first company in the world to generate half of a million registered carbon credits through the refurbishment and resale of IT assets. They are also the only company today offering an up-front buyback of technology assets, with registered carbon credits included. That’s TechAdvance putting high tech on the high road and circling it right back.