Expanding technology’s life cycle

Committing to sustainability, eir evo has begun a number of company-wide initiatives. But the greening goes deeper, with the company supporting its customers by offering device re-use and recycling to prime the circular economy

Peter Clarke, head of product and partner success at eir evo

Faced with environmental issues from climate change to biodiversity, businesses today are expected not only to pull their weight, but to lead in sustainability for their customers.

Peter Clarke, head of product and partner success at eir evo, said that sustainability efforts by businesses large and small were a positive development.

“A lot of investment goes into sustainability, by a lot of companies. There is a real business benefit – and there is a benefit to wider society,” he said.

For example, eir evo has already transitioned almost half of its commercial fleet to EV or hybrid EV solutions since 2021.

Of course, businesses, by their nature, are interested in profit, but a wider alignment driven by public pressure and the attractiveness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) rankings to investors was driving deep change, Clarke said.

Indeed, in addition to its EV switchover, eir evo works with GridBeyond to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help power Ireland’s grid at times of stress.

It also continues to invest and roll-out new technologies across Ireland, implementing AI in its mobile network to conserve energy and delivering fibre, a more energy efficient technology, to 1.2 million homes, schools and business.

However, Clarke said, eir evo also works to help its business customers meet green objectives.

“We design intelligent solutions that are modern, holistic and efficient, and we ensure the best outcome with regards to cost efficiency and sustainability.

By optimising and tailoring each customer solution, we remove the potential for wastage and overprovisioning, while providing the best possible outcome for the customer”.

For example, Digital Planet, eir evo’s private cloud which has built-in sustainability features such as analytics and insights on energy consumption, carbon emissions, and electricity usage.

“As part of my role, I’m looking at what contribution we can make at a product level” he said.

One answer Clarke has found is giving phones a second life.

“With mobile devices, there are a couple of things to look at: is it still useful, and what materials are in them,” he said.

We design intelligent solutions that are modern, holistic and efficient, and we ensure the best outcome with regards to cost efficiency and sustainability

Typically, businesses, especially at enterprise level, replace mobile devices on an eighteen month or two year schedule, and, increasingly, they are provided on a leasing basis. eir evo takes the devices back, securely wipes them, and either sends them back into the sales channel or recycles the parts.

Re-use in the second hand market is the best outcome, Clarke said, but even devices that are at the true end of their life can be recycled.

“Some customers, for compliance reasons, do not want their phones to be reused under any circumstances. In that instance we can break it down to bare metal, so you can extract materials from the battery and the phone, and what is left is destroyed in an ethical, certified way. We provide that certification back to the customer,” he said.

Charitable donations of older equipment is another option that eir evo facilitates.

Clarke said that while this support for the circular economy was in line with eir evo’s goals, their approach to sustainability has evolved in line with customer requirements and expectations. In fact, eir evo does not itself benefit from offering re-use and recycling in terms of sustainability rankings.

“We understand the positive impact that responsible and sustainable practices have on the environment, society, and the communities and businesses we serve,” he said.

For details: visit eirevo.ie