04 - Interview with Sacha Ghiglione - CEO of Prime Computer
Updated: Apr 7
Sacha is CEO and Board member of the Swiss climate neutral, green IT manufacturer Prime Computer which is mainly producing mini PCs for medium size companies. Sacha is also a Board Member of the European Technology Chamber & the Climate Action Commission, supporting the use of European technology to reach the sustainability goals (SDGs) of the UN.
Prime Computer is a Swiss company founded in 2013 to develop and produce IT hardware under economic, social and ecological aspects, focusing on energy efficiency, reliability and longevity. With 25 employees, they are operating in 23 countries and growing 105% yoy in revenue. Sacha joined Prime Computer in 2018 as COO and took over as CEO in 2019.
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In this episode we will take about eWaste, implementing circular design principles in electronics and how to start tracking your CO2 footprint.
eWaste is a global problem which is increasing due to urbanization, higher level of income, shorter life cycles and fewer repair options.
In 2019, the world generated a striking 54 Metric tonnes (= million tonnes) of e-waste, an average of 7.3 kg per capita. Europe ranked first worldwide in terms of e-waste
generation per capita, with 16.2 kg per capita = 81 iphones (200 grammes each) or 8 drilling machines per year. Only 17% gets recycled and the rest is waste. Europe leads here with 42% in recycling. The eWaste is increasing by 9 million tons every year.
The problem is also that the eWaste is highly toxic. Electronics contain materials like for example copper (Cu), aluminum (Al), and iron (Fe), and when burned these metals accumulate in the air.
Beside the CO2 emissions generated by producing electrical products every year, the value of the tossed away raw materials is 57 billion USD per year.
Source: Global E-Waste Monitor 2020.
In this show, we address why is it so difficult to recycle electronic products? What can we do to change it?
Sacha shares his 3 key elements to start and implement a circular model:
Know your footprint by analysing your CO2 emissions based on the Scope 1, 2 und 3 of the Greenhouse Protocol
Design your products with sustainable principles - designed for repairment, upgradability, recycling, durability, less energy consumption, avoiding of too many components
It all comes down to capital - doing the good things should be cheaper than doing the wrong things. Right now it is not the case.
Consumers are willing to pay 4-6 times more for sustainable products.
Calculating your CO2 footprint is extremely complex if you would like to account for Scope 3:
Source: Primecomputer Website
PrimeComputer used Go Blue Now as an agency to do the assessment. Together with Exponential Roadmap, PrimeComputer has committed to halving their greenhouse gas emissions every 10 years and compiling an annual sustainability report.
In the end, we talk about his favorite music and that the internet is never forgetting.
Global eWaste Monitor -
The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 (www.globalewaste.org) is a collaborative product of the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP), formed by UN University (UNU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), in close collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The World Health Organization (WHO) and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) also substantially contributed to this year’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020.
Greenhouse Protocol -
Greenhouse Gas Protocol provides standards, guidance, tools and training for business and government to measure and manage climate-warming emissions.
Global Carbon Tax:
State and Trends of Carbon Taxes by the World Bank:
Corporate Responsibility Program of PrimeComputer: https://primecomputer.co/corporate-social-responsibility/
Exponential Roadmap -
The Exponential Roadmap Initiative is for innovators, transformers and disruptors taking action in line with 1.5°C, with the mission to halve emissions before 2030 through exponential climate action and solutions. The Exponential Roadmap Initiative is an accredited partner of United Nations’ Race To Zero, TED Countdown and a founding partner of the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders and the SME Climate Hub. https://exponentialroadmap.org/news/
Go Blue Now -
Agency to advise and support companies in developing and implementing an individual climate strategy and a feasible action plan.