HPE Blog, UK & Ireland

Re: Think global. Act circular. The circular economy and technology renewal.

The potential benefits of ‘the circular economy’ on the global ecological health of our planet has been a major talking point amongst C-level executives for some time now. And it’s set to become a topic of concern throughout all levels of all organisations.

After all, out of the office, we’re all citizens and we’re all aware of how Britain increasingly embraces sustainability in so many areas of life. And the more involved and engaged people become, the more they’ll become influencers on the behaviour of the organisations from whom they choose to buy and for whom they choose to work.

So it’s never been more important to be clear about what is meant by the ‘circular economy’, and how the principles of ‘circular economy thinking’ fit into that broader picture of environmental responsibility.

 We can learn a lot from Mother Nature.

Perhaps the clearest analogy is to consider the circular way in which the natural world works. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation, which champions the drive to increase sustainability through the adoption of the circular economy, explains that in nature there is no such thing as ‘landfill’ because there is no need for it. Things grow and live; one species becomes food for another species; things die and decompose, putting nutrients back into the system; and so the cycle continues. Nature makes things, they serve their natural use and then they return to the earth - it’s a perfect circle of life where nothing is discarded or wasted.

What man has brought to the planet is a linear take-make-dispose approach which sees us take from the earth’s finite supply of resources, make products that have a limited lifecycle and then dispose of those products in landfill. That in turn uses ever-increasing amounts of the earth’s finite resources… and the linear process continues as we take more, make more and dispose more.

It’s time to change the operating system.

By adopting the circular make-use-return model of the natural world, we humans now have an opportunity to change the way we live and work; the way we manufacture; the way we do business. We can change our entire operating system to become a model whereby we make and use what we need, but then return it to be either refurbished and reused or responsibly recycled into materials that can feed a new product’s life.

HPE is at the forefront of the tech industry in raising awareness, not just of the environmental benefits of the circular economy but also of the financial benefits for organisations who choose to adopt proactive upcycling strategies.

Through our investment in Technology Renewal Centres, HPE is echoing nature’s way of ‘reabsorbing’ end-of-life equipment to generate for our clients a continuing source of real, fresh, tangible value to help them grow the next cycle of innovation… efficiently, cost-effectively and responsibly.

Interested? Read more on our Asset Lifecycle pages.

Steve Gair
Hewlett Packard Enterprise



Steve Gair
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About the Author


Leader of the Financial Services business for HPE in the UK&I. Passionate about helping customers procure and manage their IT assets more sustainably.

Andrew Dutton

Really great article.  It is absolutely time to rethink how we approach sustainability on a personal level and across all industries, especially IT.  The out dated view of “make - use - dispose” has no place in the future.  We all need to think about sustainable innovation.

Great article 

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