Displaying articles for: 05-13-2012 - 05-19-2012
(This entry was posted by Dr. Kirstie McIntyre, Head of Environmental Compliance at HP)
The rapid economic growth of emerging markets has led to a rise in the generation of electronic waste (e-waste) in the last decade. The European Environment Agency and United Nations Environment Programme estimate that 40-50 million tonnes of electrical equipment waste are produced each year globally. It’s increasing three times faster than all other types of domestic waste.
In the decade to 2010, six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world were African.[i] Across Africa the technology market is predicted to grow by over 8% a year for the next three years.[ii] This is great news for the region, but comes at a cost. E-waste in Africa is growing 20% each year due to rising sales of electronic goods and legal and illegal imports of second hand and surplus equipment.
The lack of a sustainable e-waste management infrastructure in most African countries means that unsafe dismantling and recycling of used equipment pose serious threats to workers’ health and the environment. This is compounded by situations where there is often little e-waste policy or legislation, regulations to protect the health of e-waste workers are often limited, and where there is little or no infrastructure or training to support sustainable waste management systems.
In October 2011, HP opened the East African Computer Recycling Company (EACR) in Mombasa, Kenya, in partnership with Camara Education. Kenya produces 3,000 tonnes of e-waste annually – waste that on the one hand can cause great harm to the environment, but on the other, can be used as a resource and an economic stimulus.
Camara Education is an NGO working with disadvantaged communities in Africa. EACR is operating Kenya’s first IT e-waste recycling facility, operating to international health, safety and environmental standards and establishing a local, sustainable IT e-waste recycling industry. The facility receives end-of-life IT from business and public sector customers, the informal sector and Camara’s own network of schools in Kenya, assessing the waste for refurbishment or recycling. Already the EACR has more than 100 clients, including 38 schools.[iii]
HP has been involved in the African market for many years, and in Nigeria HP provides training to e-waste workers in Lagos’ Alaba market, offering advice on handling e-waste containing hazardous materials such as lead and cadmium.[iv]
E-waste management clearly holds opportunities in skills transfer and revenue generation that can be turned into drivers for incorporating Africa’s informal recycling networks into economically, ethically and environmentally sustainable systems. IT recycling is now a major global industry. Comprehensive training and education of the informal sector are key to enable the collection, dismantling and recycling sectors in Africa to capitalize on revenue opportunities while ensuring e-waste management can operate as a self-sustaining system. HP continues to invest heavily in education and training based on its experience across the region.
[i] The Economist, 6.1.2011, www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/01/daily_chart
[ii] HP data
(Above: one of HP's new ultrabooks)
Last week, self-admitted gadget geek Darren Gladstone of The Next Bench overviewed a host of new products HP announced in Shanghai, China. Darren likes to focus on the high-performance gear demanded by customers like gamers, but that was only half the story.
Small and medium businesses are similarly demanding. Whether a small tech startup, a “mom and pop” merchant, or a factory employing hundreds of people, these kinds of businesses move quickly and know that the using the right technology is key to success.
This is particularly true in China, one of the fastest-growing small and medium business (SMB) markets in the world. In fact, China has about 3.5 million SMB’s today. With technology needs evolving and the consumerization of IT driving the change, HP’s new products are designed to address the demands of both personal and professional worlds without compromise.
For specifics on the new 2012 product line, read on at 367 Addison Avenue, our blog about technology and small and medium businesses.
And don’t miss this great post about the iconic custom car shop West Coast Customs, which streamlined business processes and turbocharged their design team using HP technology and know-how.
At the Global Business Coalition Health (GBCHealth) Conference in NYC, HP and its partners, Positive Innovation for the Next Generation (PING), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and mobile network provider MASCOM announced that their disease surveillance mobile based technology has improved response times to notify authorities of malaria outbreaks from four weeks to three minutes in the first year of the company’s pilot program. Due to the quick outbreak identification process, people affected can now receive help faster.
The program, announced last June, equips healthcare workers with mobile devices that collect malaria data and can be viewed in a geographic map of disease transmission to generate more context-aware information about outbreaks in order for workers to respond accordingly. Through the system to date, there have been a total of 1,068 real-time notifications and updates on disease patterns to Ministry of Health officials and health care workers. Eighty-nine potential malaria outbreaks have been identified in Botswana’s Chobe region, where the disease surveillance system was first piloted and rolled out.
HP and PING have large-scale expansion plans for the program including an additional 20 facilities in Botswana with over 100 health workers trained by June 1, an added 80 facilities by October 2012, and the surveillance of other diseases, beginning with multi-drug resistance tuberculosis in August 2012.
PING also plans to develop a self-training game tutorial to complement the reporting and mapping interface running on the phones. This will empower health care workers to complete self-paced training on use of the mobile tools.
Please visit our website for more information about HP’s collaboration with PING: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/social-innovation/ping.html.