Sustainable Electricals

WRAP is working with the electrical and electronics industry to achieve a step change in business resilience, product durability and re-use.

The issues: Why sustainable electricals?

The issues

Why does the industry need sustainable electricals?

In 2012 WRAP commissioned a report called "Switched on to Value" that illustrated the key business benefits of extending electronic product lifetimes and trading in used products.

Read Switched on to Value
80% of customers want a minimum two-year guarantee on new appliances
£400m the cost to brands and retailers per year on returned products
70% were likely or very likely to trade in high-tech products
£800m the amount the UK can benefit in GDP growth

What is WRAP doing?

We are working with industry and governmental partners to help businesses consider how they could profit from taking a more sustainable approach to electrical and electronic products.

Our action plan

In 2014, we established an Electrical and Electronic Equipment Sustainability Action Plan (esap) to take collective action to tackle sustainability and deliver extensive economic and environmental benefits.

Using rigorous independent research WRAP identified the top five priority products that contribute the greatest resource impact on the UK market, based on the volume sold and resources required to make them. These are televisions, washing machines, laptop computers, refrigeration products (fridges and freezers) and mobile telephones.

This formed the basis for esap, a voluntary agreement for industry detailing the five key aspects businesses should currently focus on to manage product durability, minimise product returns, detail consumer behaviour concerning sutainable products and employ innovative business models and schemes for re-use and waste minimisation.

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We've been working with European partners to develop the EU Life+ Project REBus: a joint initiative investigating the viability and practical implementation of resource efficient business models across a number of different industries, including electrical and electronic products.

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Critical Raw Materials

WRAP is actively promoting processes and practices to recover critical raw materials and valuable precious metals from end-of-life electrical products.

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Case study video

Argos Gadget Trade-in

WRAP has been working with Argos and the Home Retail Group since 2014 to develop and test a robust circular economy business model, putting the key areas of esap and REBus into practice.

"We were looking for ways to develop and deliver business growth through a more circular economy. We recognised that by using resources differently we would not only improve our environmental credentials but could also increase customer loyalty, footfall and spend."

Megan Kitchen, Environmental and Ethical Affairs Manager, Home Retail Group/Argos

The Argos Gadget Trade-in service is a great example of how resource efficient business models can work in practice and demonstrates a professional business case for change.

Read the case study

What can my company do?

WRAP encourages all businesses, whether large or small, to consider how they can use our research to reduce their environmental impact and gain some of the £800million lost yearly income detailed in WRAP's Switched on to Value report.

Sign up to esap

WRAP enables businesses to implement sound sustainable solutions through our esap voluntary agreement. By signing up to the scheme, your business agrees to play its part in working with WRAP to take action in the five key areas of esap.

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Discover more about REBus

Find out more about resource efficient business models with WRAP's work on the REBus Project.

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Make Better Appliances

Use our Better Appliances guide to ensure your product design is as durable and efficient as possible.

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Receive regular updates

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assignment Reports





Case studies

Meet the experts

Contact our industry experts to discuss the ways in which your organisation can profit from using electrical and electronic products more sustainably.