Luke Doneghan

PCR’s May Big Interview with Circular Computing ‘s Luke Doneghan on bolstering the circular economy

We speak with Circular Computing’s Head of UK Sales, Luke Doneghan on supporting partners and end customers on their sustainability journey, the new era of growth for sustainable IT and pushing the realms of what is possible within sustainable IT.

Circular Computing, a global specialist in remanufactured IT appointed Luke Doneghan as its new Head of UK Sales, to accelerate UK sales operations and support its channel partner growth at the e nd of last year. Luke’s appointment marks a new era of growth for sustainable IT in the channel, amidst mounting pressures from governments and world organisations to meet ambitious net zero targets. Here’s what Doneghan had to say.

How are you getting on in your new current role at Circular Computing and can you tell us a bit about your previous professional background having come from Dynabook Europe?
My previous roles have provided me with a wealth of experience managing an OEM’s entire EMEA route to market. At Circular Computing, I’ve been appointed as Head of UK Sales to fast track UK sales and expand our network of resellers and end customers.

There is no doubt that continually producing new technology is no longer sustainable at an enterprise level. The Circular Computing production technology now means we can take existing hardware and make it ‘equal to new’ after its initial lifecycle, with the benefits of being cost effective and providing the industry’s first zero carbon footprint. This value proposition not only delivers a better way to tech procurement and deployment around the world, but has allowed us to hold high volumes of stock amidst ongoing global supply issues.

How do you plan to accelerate Circular Computing’s UK sales operations and support its channel partner growth?
The number one priority is to support our partners and end customers on their sustainability journey. While most businesses now have a focus on being sustainable in some capacity, not all of them realise how to implement and report on carbon reduction initiatives. The channel is on that journey now and the end customer IT decision maker matrix is changing. We have an opportunity to support IT decision makers to achieve sustainable IT procurement that’s not only cost effective, but also available in volume today.

Evolving the sales process will be a challenge as experienced salespeople adapt to new language and begin dealing with new stakeholders. By ensuring we’re a supportive and effective partner, we can provide resellers with an opportunity to create a more ethical, sustainable and socially responsible way for end users to buy enterprise grade IT.

With your appointment marking a new era of growth for sustainable IT in the channel, please could you explain more about Circular Computing’s route to sustainability and any initiatives it is currently undertaking?
Our remanufacturing process directly avoids the depletion of many of the Earth’s limited resources that are part of the original manufacture of every new laptop. On average, it takes 190,000 litres of water to make just one new laptop, producing 316 kilograms of Carbon Dioxide, while 1,200 kilograms of the earth’s precious resources are mined. Remanufacturing, on the other hand, reduces e-waste and reuses materials minimising its overall environmental impact.

Our process and sustainability efforts are also carried through to the end user. As you may be aware, businesses now need to record their carbon-saving efforts in Scope 3 Emissions reports. Carbon neutral laptops mean sustainable IT is a huge step forward for people and planet.

To stand behind our need to provide a carbon-neutral future, we invest significantly into carbon reduction projects. This includes reforestation and clean energy projects, which ensures every Circular Computing laptop is certified carbon neutral from a carbon neutral organisation. We support projects that have a real impact, help create jobs and empower vulnerable communities.

How will you be leading the company’s entire channel route to market, to ensure that Circular Computing’s rapidly expanding network of resellers are supported on their journey to implementing sustainable IT. How will you be working with end customers in a bid to raise awareness of the benefits of reducing their IT carbon footprint?
For many of the channel partners we begin working with, sustainable IT is a change in the model they’re used to, so our role is to help them adapt and make sure they’re fit from a sustainability perspective. The more benefits they see from the sustainability model, the better their relationship will be with end user companies.

For end users, CIOs are coming under increasing pressure to meet Net Zero targets. Offering carbon neutral laptops, which perform ‘equal to or better than new’ to form their IT infrastructure is one step towards hitting those targets in a cost effective, sustainable way.

To meet demand from both resellers and end customers, we’re investing significantly in our sales teams and channel partner programme. By engaging collaboratively with the supply chain we’re able to raise awareness of the benefits of reducing their IT carbon footprint and impart our expertise to all parties involved.

Please could you explain more about Circular Computing’s computer remanufacturing facility and how it has stopped over 10,000 metric tonnes of electronic waste from entering landfill?
Through our unique remanufacturing process, fully-qualified technicians remanufacture to BS 8887 standards within our purpose-built state of the art production facility. We re-use 99% of the original materials to remanufacture a laptop and the last 1% goes into recycling, where it is transformed into pallets. Nothing is thrown away and we’ve amassed a collection of more than 180,000 spare parts.

By remanufacturing existing hardware, we not only save it from going to landfill but we deliver a performance that is truly comparable to new. By giving the product a new lease of life, we extend the warranty by up to 3 years meaning its impact on the planet is spread over multiple life cycles. Of course, we also take the product back again when it goes beyond its second life so we can begin the process all over again.

What advice would you offer to other companies looking to implement sustainability initiatives?
As a first step, I’d encourage every business to be proactive and pragmatic about identifying which areas of their operations need to be looked at as a priority. To do this you need to put sustainability at the heart of your organisation.

Implementing sustainability initiatives across business operations takes time and often comes with layers of process and stakeholder approvals – so identifying what matters the most to the organisation will make the biggest impact.

My second piece of advice would be to make someone responsible for the day-to-day management of these initiatives. In recent years, we’ve seen the Chief Sustainability Officer taking a more prominent role in the c-suite. I strongly believe that regardless of your industry, having someone accountable for making your business operations sustainable is key and paves way for tangible movement and transition.

Lastly, don’t go it alone. Working with partner organisations who specialise in sustainability can not only take the pressure off you to hit net zero targets but provides you the expertise and depth of knowledge to better understand the task at hand.

I understand Circular Computing has recently been awarded BSI Kitemark certification, what does this mean for the company?
The awarding of the BSI Kitemark certifies that our Circular Remanufacturing Process produces products ‘equal to or better than new’ as required by the BS standard BS8887-220 and BS8887-211. As the first laptop remanufacturer to claim the prestigious BSI Kitemark, we believe it will propel remanufactured laptops of this standard, into the global spotlight.

The weight of evidence more than suggests that obtaining a Kitemark is not only good for business but has become essential for consumer confidence. It inspires trust, is a mark of international safety and quality and helps aid best practice in business and innovation. By choosing Circular Computing products, CTO and CIOs can confidently fulfil the need to save costs on purchasing hardware as well as the pressure to become more sustainable. The Kitemark provides a hallmark of credibility that is recognised worldwide, and the award further advances our position as a global leader in sustainable IT.

Please could you tell us more about why joining Circular Computing is so important to you?
Like many people I’m passionate about making sure we live in a sustainable society and I’m also fortunate enough to work in an industry that both needs to make a big change and now also has the opportunity to do so. The proposition here isn’t about making a difference in 50 years time, it’s making a difference today with proven technology and processes that are tackling the issue of electronic waste.

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world and joining Circular Computing is my chance to help make a change in the way businesses purchase and use IT, reducing the mass of wasted electronic equipment and protecting the planet’s natural resources.

How is Circular Computing working to encourage the channel to take second user laptops? What process are you implementing?
Our goal is to ensure there is a viable alternative to new. The stigma attached to second-hand equipment is that the performance or longevity is not what they were in its original lifeform. Our remanufacturing process goes above and beyond the norm to give a premium-grade second-user product that looks and performs like new, all whilst ensuring carbon-neutral processes with exacting quality standards.

By utilising our state-of-the art remanufacturing facility, we have the world’s first and only BSI Kitemark for remanufactured laptops, certifying that our Circular Remanufacturing Process produces products ‘equal or better than new’ as required by the BS Standards 8887.

Over and above the assurances our BSI Kitemark offers end customers, our extensive 5+ hour remanufacturing process and 360-point quality check delivers unrivalled quality, consistency and reliability: our RMA is less than 3%, which is much lower than OEMs, plus we offer up to a 3 year warranty for complete peace of mind.

How is Circular Computing leading the charge in waking up businesses to this revolutionary process? How do you plan to propel the business into further growth, while ultimately advancing the ever-important sustainability agenda?
Our mission is to push the realms of what is possible within the sustainable IT industry and inspire our clients, partners and businesses globally to transition to a more sustainable IT procurement strategy. Through our focus on innovation and development of disruptive technology, like the Circular Computing Remanufacturing Process, our business will continue to experience rapid growth as it meets the demand for sustainable IT.

With the mounting pressures for businesses to meet sustainability targets and as the importance of reuse starts gaining momentum to tackle the e-waste crisis, I feel Circular Computing is uniquely placed to make a genuine lasting impact on the IT sector with a viable alternative to new. We are an innovative and forward-thinking company, and as such, I believe we’re well placed to expand our portfolio in the future.

It’s an exciting time, and while we’re the first and only company to remanufacture laptops in the industry to-date, we hope others will join us on this journey to make the world a more sustainable place – because IT shouldn’t cost the Earth.

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