Personal computer (PC) makers are embracing sustainability as part of their growth strategies by using recyclable materials and packaging.
Apart fromdesign and packaging material, US PC manufacturer HP Inc wants to promote circularity to refurbish PCs, while Taiwanese PC maker Acer is pushing for “a green journey” in Thailand.
“The company is using more sustainable materials, packaging and energy consumption. Renew PC is another layer of offerings where the whole device itself may be renewed with components updated in offerings. This is still in development. We are looking at identifying different or more parts of the PC that we can make available, either serviceable or replaceable in the future,” Alex Cho, president for personal systems business at HP, told the Bangkok Post.
HP has introduced more than 300 products using plastics from the ocean, is becoming “forest-positive” in printing, and aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
The company has also designed PCs to be more easily repairable and serviceable, supporting its larger initiative of enabling circularity.
“Customers are asking for them and we think it has important value for sustainability,” said Mr Cho.
This is an opportunity that is generating excitement around the world, and HP expects it to be a way to roll out life-refreshing devices.
HP’s intention is to make sure it designs the PCs in its renewal programme from a customer’s perspective and meets their needs, including the quality levels and ensuring that the performance of the device meets their needs.
According to Mr Cho, some customers are interested in having a mixed fleet of new devices and refreshed devices. Some customers will primarily want refreshed devices, so there will be many different options available. This demand reflects the economic situation, with people keen to use their devices for longer and comply with sustainability compliance.
“I think it has a value proposition related to affordability, but the larger value proposition is about sustainability, that’s why we are investing in making this available for our customers in the future,” said Mr Cho.
Mohan Kumar, business manager for services in the Greater Asia and India markets at HP, said at the “Innovation Showcase of HP Future Ready, Better Together” event earlier this year that a few countries have a pilot scheme for this renewal programme, with HP planning to launch it across Asia soon.
Thailand is still on the inspection phase, but definitely part of the plan because the country is a big market, said Mr Kumar.
He said a PC’s lifecycle will generate around 300 kilogrammes of carbon emissions, while a printer produces around 1,200kg.
Devices are meant to be properly disposed of, but 70% of them are not. As a result they become e-waste and typically get dumped in a landfill.
Using devices as long as possible helps to reduce these issues. For example, customers in one country may use devices for three years and repurpose those PCs for educational purposes in a poorer nation to reduce the digital divide.
“This is not going to impact HP’s new PC business as it brings in more customers. We are now playing in the secondary PC market, which is far more beneficial for HP and its partners,” said Mr Kumar.
“Refurbishing PCs to extend their usage lifetime will reduce the climate impact and e-waste,” said Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, marketing director at Acer Computer.
Acer sees sustainability as a growth opportunity, he said.
The company is committed to its Earthion project, focusing on the environment by building awareness among employees, partners and customers.
In Thailand, Acer sees enthusiasm and willingness to purchase sustainability products, in particular from Gen Z.
Acer’s first-generation Acer Aspire Vero, which uses post-consumer recycled material, is the best-seller in Thailand when compared to other Acer markets.
“Locally, we aim to have sustainability products at 15% of the total portfolio available by 2025, from currently less than 5%,” said Mr Nitipat.
Acer has organised activities to increase user awareness in its green journey. It also places an emphasis on managing electronic waste through its e-waste project. The company has established e-waste collection points at more than 10 Acer service centres, with plans to increase the number of collection points by 30% in collaboration with partners.
“Sustainability products have higher costs than normal products, but we make sure the price is not much different to attract the buyers,” said Mr Nitipat.
In this quarter, Acer plans to locally launch its TravelMate Vero eco-friendly and sustainable PC for corporate and public sectors to support their sustainability goals.