TOUGHBOOK Revive: Empowering users with the circular economy

Author: Rachael Pugh, Partner Marketing and Enablement at TOUGHBOOK Europe

Our GREEN IMPACT commitments and the values upheld by our partners constantly challenges us to build mobile computers with sustainability at their core. TOUGHBOOK Revive, in enabling customers to contribute to the circular economy, takes this one step further. 

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It is no secret that intelligent rugged computing solutions have enabled organisations from the public sector to construction workers to work faster, more efficiently, and consistently deliver the best results for their users. 

But with this potential comes a responsibility: as businesses begin to reassess their environmental impact, their electronic waste (or e-waste) is a serious consideration. Globally, consumers and businesses generate around 50 million tonnes of e-waste each year, with only one fifth of this output being recycled. Despite being considered a global leader in e-waste recycling, the EU only reports 35% of its e-waste as properly managed and recycled

It has become clear that we as an industry need to pursue a new vision for the production and consumption of electronic goods, and at Panasonic we are very serious about our role in defining this vision. This is why we’re proud to announce TOUGHBOOK Revive, our not-for-profit circular economy model, as a new way to contribute to our own sustainability initiatives and empower our customers to do the same. 

Exploring Europe’s Revive hub

Our commitment to achieving operational net zero by 2030 and the values upheld by our partners such as Microsoft are constantly challenging us to build rugged mobile computers with sustainability at their core. Our TOUGHBOOK devices, designed with both sustainability and durability in mind, have the potential to deliver a high performance for up to 10 years, and we are keen to encourage our customers to extend their refresh lifecycle. While we have long supported our customers in pursuing greener practices with their TOUGHBOOK devices, TOUGHBOOK Revive takes the next step. The program empowers and inspires users to donate their retired devices to be refurbished, resold or reused amongst selected charity partners, or responsibly recycled. 

The circular economy is a model of consumption designed to reduce the environmental impact of producing and disposing of PCs, whilst making rugged technology more accessible to second-hand buyers. By supporting our customers in contributing to a circular economy with initiatives like Revive, we are helping to achieve Environmental, Social and Governance targets. 

As the European hub for configuration and servicing, our central facility in Cardiff, Wales configures 100,000 units per year. Now, the site is the proud home of TOUGHBOOK Revive across Europe. Two weeks ago, we were fortunate to host a large group of guests in Cardiff to display our reservicing capabilities, launching TOUGHBOOK Revive and allowing our visitors to explore and interrogate just how we can extend the lifespan of a TOUGHBOOK device. 


Understanding the device refresh lifecycle

The time between purchasing and retiring a device is known as the “device refresh lifecycle”, and this is a crucial metric of evaluating the efficiency and return on carbon investment of a business’ mobile computing decisions. 

Earlier this year, we surveyed 750 mobile technology buyers in organisations over 50 employees across the UK, France and Germany to better understand the purchasing patterns across European mobile computing users. Across a wide sample of industries from utilities and emergency services to manufacturing and logistics, the Sustainability Gap research highlighted a barrier to sustainable IT practices: a majority of businesses have maintained a technology refresh cycle of four years. Despite wanting to use their devices for longer and maximise efficiency, European mobile workforces have an average refresh lifecycle of 4.2 years per device.

Supporting the right to repair 

In 2020, the European Commission highlighted the right to repair as a vital step in reducing e-waste and contributing to a circular model of computing. 

Alongside highlighting the reservicing and repair team at the Cardiff facility, last week’s event, dubbed the ‘TOUGHBOOK 40 Experience’, showcased our latest ultra-rugged notebook as the ultimate device for outdoor and extreme weather environments with sustainability built into every aspect of its design.   

Built specifically for testing environments, the TOUGHBOOK 40 is a pioneering product that is built to be adjusted to the working scenario by allowing end users and IT departments to exchange modules. Enabling mobile workforces to adapt to changing requirements in their fleet allows them to extend the lifespan of a laptop in an organisation with ease, limiting downtime, building an ethos of extending device lifespans, and ensuring reliability for users in remote locations.


Continuing the TOUGHBOOK ecosystem

When devices do finally reach the point that they need to be retired by an organisation - perhaps after they have donated their TOUGHBOOK to the Revive scheme - our commitment to building backwards compatible features and accessories in our devices mean that IT buyers can keep as much of their mobile computing ecosystem in use for as long as possible. Removing the need to invest in new chargers, docking systems, or modular features allows the TOUGHBOOK ecosystem to continue to reduce e-waste and improve ROI for every customer as we work together to build sustainable practices into mobile computing. 



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