Joint action sparks electricals' sector revolution

18th November 2014
  • 50 signatories sign up to work collaboratively across the product life-cycle
  • Action could potentially create a new manufacturing sector = more jobs and GDP
  • Commitment focuses on improving durability, increasing re-use, and delivering more effective recycling

Leading organisations* from across the UK electricals sector are set to revolutionise the way we buy, use and dispose of electrical items through the Electrical and Electronic Sustainability Action Plan (esap).

The esap signatories, which include organisations representing 66% of the UK’s TV sales**, will be unveiled today at WRAP’s Resources Limited conference in London. The resource efficiency experts’ conference is bringing together global organisations to understand the challenges and solutions to building business resilience, and growing value in a world of scarce resources.

esap, will be led by WRAP on behalf of UK governments and builds on the delivery body’s expertise in this area. It will help organisations – that design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use and recycle electrical and electronic products – to work collaboratively across the product life-cycle. This shows the signatories commitment to reducing the environmental impact of electrical and electronic products in ways that bring benefits to consumers and industry alike.

Signatories’ actions, which include: implementing new business models such as take-back and resale; extending product durability; and, gaining greater value from reuse and recycling, could significantly boost the UK economy as well as help future proof our resources.

It’s estimated that the UK market value for trading pre-owned equipment to be worth up to £3 billion. Encouraging the trade-in of used TVs alone could grow UK GDP by over £750 million per year by 2020. With esap signatories representing two thirds of the UK’s TV sales this vision could become a reality. If the TV model was scaled up to the whole electronics sector, this could increase GDP by around £5.25 billion.

This is a win - win situation for consumers and businesses. Consumers could get money for a product they no longer want, someone who can’t normally afford a product or particular brand can now do so from a reputable source. Businesses can generate great customer loyalty and reach a market basis previously lost to them through the simple 3 R route - Reward, Refurb and Resell.

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP, said:
“I am delighted with the take up of esap from the electricals industry, which has the potential to revolutionise how we design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use, and recycle electrical and electronic products. By making better use of resources, businesses can better safeguard their future through creating new opportunities for economic and environmental benefits, whilst saving consumers money.”

Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business, Sky, said:
“At Sky, we’re always looking at ways to make our products better and more sustainable year on year. Our new partnership with WRAP will help us to drive even greater resource efficiencies across the whole product life cycle, with a particular focus on the reuse and recycling of our products. We look forward to collaborating both with WRAP and our fellow signatories.”

Matt Sexton, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, B&Q, said:
“Our work with WRAP on alternative business models validated many of our initial assumptions, with data and customer research that was detailed, comprehensive and gave us all we needed to be able to present the case for change credibly within our business.  Subsequent discussion with potential service providers have proved our data to have been extremely accurate which I think reflects well on WRAP’s methods and choice of consultancy partners.”

WRAP is continuing to encourage other organisations from the electricals sector to work with them on esap, anyone interested in doing so should get in touch via eproducts@wrap.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

* The first organisations committing to esap include:  

ADISA
Arrow Value Recovery
Axion Consulting
Beko
B&Q
CCL
Datec Technologies Limited
Dell
Domestic Appliance Service Association
EEE Safe
Electrical Safety First
EnvironCom
ERecycler Ltd
ERP
FRN
GlobeChain
Happus     
Home Retail Group (parent company of Argos and Homebase)
Homedics
iFixit
Keep Britain Tidy
LG Electronics
London Re-use Network
Loughborough University
Metech Recycling UK
Microsoft
Next
Oxfam
Panasonic
RDC
Recipro8
Recycling Lives
Repic
Resolver
Resource Renew
Re-Tek
RETRA
S2S
Sainsbury’s
Samsung
Sky
Techtronics
The University of Northampton
Track2000
Valpak
Veolia
Vestel
WasteSavers
Xpoit IT Services
Zerobin   

  ** Euromonitor International, 2013 sales

For more information on esap see - http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/esap-generating-value-business-through-sustainability

esap will take specific actions, by product category, across five themes:

  • extending product durability through design and customer information;
  • minimising product returns;
  • understanding and influencing consumer behaviour on product durability and reparability;
  • implementing profitable, resilient and resource efficient business models; and,
  • gaining greater value from re-use and recycling.

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, it works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency. www.wrap.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter at @Wrap_UK

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