The electricals industry could realise £4.4 billion of profit through adopting greener business models.
That’s according to a new report from sustainability non-profit WRAP, which says the opportunity is being presented by a growing consumer appetite for circular economy practices such as take-back schemes and increased recycling.
It says changing the way electrical products are bought, consumed and discarded would allow the industry to significantly cut down on the volume of resources used, prevent one million tonnes of waste and save 14 million tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions each year.
European manufacturing firms currently spend around 40% of their total costs on raw materials – WRAP claims this is unsustainable but says the figure could be greatly reduced.
The group’s research suggests half of consumers are willing to buy used products from a reputable retailer and 83% are interested in take-back schemes at the end of product life cycles.
It adds addressing concerns over personal data being wiped could encourage more consumers to properly dispose of devices like phones and laptops rather than hoard them.
Currently, two-thirds of people are concerned about where their personal information might end up if they send a device to be re-used.
Samsung has unveiled plans to recycle and process faulty Galaxy Note 7 phones in an “environmentally friendly manner”.