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Visma e-conomic’s new e-waste recycling program embraces the circular economy

Visma Denmark has moved one step closer to a circular economy, thanks to a new e-waste recycling program. Learn more about the program, the first of its kind in Denmark.

An e-conomic employee stands in front of the e-waste recycling station at the company's office.

“87 tonnes of CO2. We’re still waiting for the final numbers, but that’s the carbon dioxide reduction we in Visma e-conomic could see after introducing our e-waste project. That’s like getting in a car and driving around the planet 14 times. ”

Nicoline Weih smiles broadly, almost triumphantly, as she says this. We’re sitting in a warmly lit conference room in Visma Denmark’s new, sustainable office building, Carlsberg City District in Copenhagen. “With the new project, we make sure that our company and personal devices are either given to charity—or recycled or reused the right way.”

The world produces more electronic devices than ever before. In the developed world, it’s not uncommon that people buy brand new electronic devices, especially smartphones, every few years. But when the devices break or become obsolete, there is little awareness about what to do with them. This is a shame, as they contain rare metals that can be reused or, worst case, recycled.

“When we buy new things, the old iPhones, computers and tablets end up in the drawer collecting nothing else but dust,” Weih says. “In fact, we know that every Dane has three to five old electronic devices at home that they don’t use. At the same time, the Global E-waste Monitor shows that in 2019 the world produced over 50 million tonnes of e-waste. So you can imagine where all these devices will end up if we don’t do something about it. This is a climate risk that we have to focus on.”

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Moving towards a more circular economy

Weih joined Visma e-conomic in June 2021 as CSR Manager. One of her first projects has been to try and reduce the amount of e-waste coming from the standard use of electronic devices at the company. So far, things have been moving quickly.

Nicoline Weih, CSR Manager at Visma e-conomic, sits on the stairs and smiles at the camera.

“Our first step has been to make sure that our company devices are recycled the right way,” Weih explains. “But we have also chosen to offer our employees the opportunity to hand in their e-waste at the office. We believe that it is our responsibility to help our employees make climate-friendly decisions, and it turns out that we are actually the first company in Denmark to offer this to employees.”

How did Visma e-conomic reach this milestone so quickly? By partnering with Nordic IT company Atea and their recycling service GoITLoop (page in Norwegian). With GoITLoop, products are first and foremost reused, and once this is no longer possible, they are recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

“We know that one of the reasons people are hesitant to hand in their old devices is that they might have sensitive data—pictures, emails, you name it. That’s why we have partnered up with Atea, because they make sure the data is properly removed before the products are taken care of.”

Also read: Embracing the circular economy at Visma Megaflex

A lasting ambition

The project doesn’t stop at recycling and reuse of e-waste. In return for the e-waste that gets turned in, Visma e-conomic gets money back. Rather than keeping it in the bank, the company gives it back to the employees in the form of a charity donation. Employees can then choose which charities they would like the money to go to.

“That way, the employees are involved in both the climate focus, but also in a charity focus,” Weih adds.

“I’ve heard that as a result of this project there are other Visma companies looking to do similar things,” says Weih. “And I’m really proud that we were able to kickstart this. A circular economy is really important, not just for electronics but physical products in general. The way we’ve done this, it gets employees involved at both a professional and personal level, and that makes the change even more meaningful.”

Learn more about sustainability at Visma

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