Environmental cost of ownership rugged vs. consumer devices

Choosing a rugged mobile computer that’s built to last doesn’t only save you money — it also helps reduce harmful electronic waste.

Selecting a mobile computer

There are many criteria to consider when deciding which mobile device to buy. How expensive is it? Does it have the tools and features you need? Will it be reliable for your work? Is it easy to use?

But beyond form and features, another factor is quickly moving up the list of priorities for today’s businesses: Does this choice support our commitment to social responsibility?

The e-waste dilemma

As technology advances, electronic devices are becoming more affordable, and device lifecycles are becoming shorter and shorter. This is due partly to cheaply made equipment that isn’t designed to last more than a couple of years, and partly to consumers’ desire to upgrade technologies as soon as new devices are released. To meet the demand for newer, faster and sleeker, some device companies release upgrades at a frenetic pace.

But frequent device turnover comes at a cost.

People are producing more electronic waste than ever before — and the numbers keep increasing every year. Global e-waste for 2016 amounted to 44.7 million metric tons, equivalent to almost 4,500 Eiffel Towers, according to The Global E-waste Monitor. And despite many manufacturers offering recycling services and incentives, only 20% of global e-waste is documented to be collected and recycled.

Caring for future generations

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is more than a buzzword — it refers to the belief that it is a company’s duty to care for all stakeholders connected to or impacted by its operation.  As the world becomes increasingly connected through technology, more and more companies are recognizing their responsibility to address and rectify the way their use of technology contributes to the problem of global electronic waste.

Emerging technologies have made amazing contributions to our world, allowing increased connectedness, innovation and efficiency. Product and software developers are working on new solutions every day that improve the way people care for the earth and one another. But as we recognize the advantages of our rapidly changing world, it’s also essential to be aware of the problematic aspects of viewing technology as disposable.

Reducing waste by choosing products with longer life expectancy is one very simple way companies can do their part to make sure future generations enjoy the benefits of technology more than they have to contend with its harmful side effects.

Environmental Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) refers to the idea that a higher upfront investment in a product that’s built to last actually results in significant cost savings over the product’s lifespan.

We would like to assert that Environmental Cost of Ownership (ECO) is an equally important factor to consider when choosing electronic devices for your company.

The good news is that ECO and TCO work hand in hand: When you choose a rugged mobile computer over a consumer device, you not only save money — you also reduce the amount of e-waste your company produces.