This essay focusses on issues around recycling and waste, using E-Inclusion Recycling.
|Information and Technology has created opportunities for millions worldwide. But at the same time millions live in poverty without access to technology. There is a convergence between digital literacy and media literacy and a new framework alone can accommodate both (p. 4 Conf). Here is where e-inclusion frameworks try to fit in. A huge population faces barriers in assessing ICT-related goods and services. And so they are unable to participate fully as consumers, citizens, patients, learners or in other ways. E-inclusion plays a role in bridging the gap between the two thereby meeting the social challenges (p. 84, Sissel A wage). The vision of e-inclusion program is to make people have access to social and economic opportunities of the digital age and develop a sustainable future (p. 84, Sissel).|
Digital culture is prevalent in the context of globalization and is an opportunity for the development and diffusion of well being. But the fact that the new and prevailing culture is accessible only to privileged few remains as a factor of discrimination (p. 11, The Digital World Foundation:..). In the modern world, knowledge is generated more by technology. So the mission has to guarantee social inclusion and get rid of the divide amongst those who have access to technologies and those who are excluded.
Presently, billions of users use the worldwide web. The growth of technology is so rapid around the world that research and analysis on the impact of this transformation do not keep pace with the idea of meeting the global sustainability challenge (Cover, Jacot Park). As environmental strategy has traditionally been portrayed in terms of risk cutting and resource efficiency, there is a danger that critical business issues such as information technology, R& D and e-commerce development are examined in isolation from the wider sustainable business perspective.
In this context, the functioning of e-inclusion can be considered as a revolution. Through its programmes, E-inclusion C.I.C provides individuals, organizations and communities with the technology and expertise to assist them in creating opportunities. (e-inclusion recycling cic).
The e-inclusion C.I.C reaches out to manufacturing companies and insists on reducing ecological footprints. Adequate programs on dematerialization are developed and carried out accordingly. Many countries are lagging behind in implementing expected levels of e-inclusion. For example only 10-20% of computers in the United States are recycled. A huge task lies ahead to tackle product and its life solution (p. 86, Sissle).
‘Competitive advantage’ and ‘Cheap labor markets’ are the key in the manufacturing industries. This scenario ultimately produces dangerous products and polluting technologies. As a result toxic trade takes place (e-inclusion cic). Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) has to be collected separately in order to prevent it from ending up in a landfill or being inspected. WEE is kept separate from other contaminated, infections, biological and hazardous waste (p1. Codman and the Environent). Electronic wastes contributes 70% of the heavy metals found in landfills today. The toxic wastes in these substances can leach into the air, soil and water causing serious health effects such as cancer, etc. Hence management of electronic waste and recycling programs play an important role in making earth a pleasant place to live.
Unless specifications are followed while decontaminating at the end of product life, they remain as infected products. Recycling cannot be done without risks. Also single use medical devices are not within the scope of the WEEE directive and should be disposed of as medical (infected) waste.
All products are to be manufactured with the consultation of health care professional. The professionals must handle the product and take the responsibility of disposing it for recycling. E-inclusion C.I.C ensures that waste is handled safely in accordance with law.
E-Inclusion Recycling C.I.C. is a Computer Refurbishment and Recycling Community Interest Company that provides licensed IT Collection and Disposal Services to Local Authorities, Government Bodies, Educational Establishments and Private Companies in Wales (e-inclusion recycling cic).
E-inclusion yields social benefits and provides unchaining economic opportunities (p.1, e-Inclusion….what next?). During financial crisis, developing digital inclusion acts as an enabler for people to actively participate in the economy and society of tomorrow. E-inclusion generates new business models. It remains as an engine for social enhancement and economic growth.
A typical business model will certainly have the plan of “ how do we make money?” But it need not necessarily have importance given to “whether the business operates to create social or economic value.” (p. 1, Laura Luo). The answer to this is very simple if we think of inclusion as a moral obligation. “Inclusion is a moral obligation, but also a huge economic opportunity.” – Fabio Colasanti. Social enterprise plays an important role in the economic and social activities of UK to develop business models (p. 1, Laura Luo). According to the social enterprise coalition, “social enterprise is a business model which offers a greater equity of economic and a more sustainable society by combining market efficiency with the social and environmental justice.” (p. 2, Laura Luo).
E-inclusion C.I.C combines environmental aims, economic aims and social aims through diverting IT wastes, reusing it and addressing the issue of digital and social inclusion (p. 2, Laura Luo). E-Inclusion grows stronger in spite of economical challenges. Also it is not funded from outside. It shows the dedication and its seriousness with which it is involved in its mission. The business philosophy of e-inclusion includes factors such as identity, essence, nature, orientation and criteria for success.
E-inclusion’s business strategy is based on overall direction, decision-making drivers and potentiality (p. 3, Laura Luo). The overall direction is in line with service to others.
E-Inclusion has strong drivers such as opportunities, commitment, transparency and clarity. They make e-inclusion a natural business process (p. 3, Laura Luo). E-inclusion has endless opportunities along its growth path.
The success of e-inclusion in Newport is measured by a successful outcome of the proposed challenge. In 2007, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) identified that Newport is the UK’s greenest city and also highlighted that Newport uses fewer natural resources than any other urban center (p. 1, Mathew Chilcott). A case study produced by University of Wales suggests that e-inclusion CIC remained instrumental in raising awareness among the society towards an innovative form of green social enterprise (p. 1, Mathew Chilcott). It can be proudly said that the e-inclusion recycling project has had significant impact on Newport’s communities, business and environment. Wales became the first in the world to give a formal report on ecological footprint. The environment minister of Wales announced a 3 million pounds investment in community-based recycling and reuse targets. This investment will carry the social enterprise to the forefront (p. 2, Mathew Chilcott).
The communities are so enterprising that the modern businesses in Newport received overwhelming support in recycling their computer hardware. The traditionally excluded members of society started making contributions to their communities using technologies. Research is underway to study the impact of e-inclusion recycling business concept. The university students have an opportunity to study the business model and investigate how it can be internationalized (p. 4…). E-inclusion goals and activities offer ways to address the growing social and environmental impact of the toxic problem of ‘e-waste’ and dealing efficiently with the world’s discarded technologies (p. 4…).
E-inclusion recycling CIC drafts socially responsible business policy for a social change. The social inclusion programs facilitate the Newport community in eradicating social exclusion.
As a social enterprise, e-inclusion CIC is different from conventional private or public sector. It conducts business with social objective as its base (p.1, Laura Luo).
Many business models think in terms of how to compete and win the market. This model contradicts with the social enterprise that has focus on economic and social aims (p.1, Laura Luo). The interesting aspect of e-inclusion is that the company’s nature is explained more by 21st century quantum physics than the seventeenth century newtonian mechanics (p.3, Laura Luo).
The business model provides a framework for value creation in business. The overall direction of e-inclusion model is to remain the greatest it can be in service to others. A reverse directional strategy enables to explore new opportunities. E-inclusion business model has drivers that suggest it is a natural business process open to everyone and when needed some of the salient drives are:
(1) There is enough to explore and utilize and so there is no competition.
(2) Focused towards finding a solution but not to find solution for problems
(3) Commitment as a key to success
The belief of the model creates amazing opportunities unmatched with outdated traditional models. The new model makes business free from competition that causes trouble by many other businesses (p. 3, Laura Lue).
Operating within the business model is challenging in the sense that it requires constant personal development, self analysis and self discipline. Change for good is the secret leading towards the developmental path (p. 4, Laura Luo). Training, support and financial backup are always available.
The roles and responsibilities of the higher officials are clear-cut in steering the company to achieve its goal by monitoring the employees, taking care of legal matters, constantly vying for opportunities and help the whole organization look at itself.
Every individual in the hierarchy of an e-inclusion company has a distinct role to play and are interdependent (p. 4, Laura Luo). Considering this and the staff of the organization seen exchanging mutual trust, e-inclusion is confident of getting its mission (p. 4, Laura Luo) done. E-inclusion is hardly distracted from its greatest service to society. This is possible due to its self functioning and non-dependence for funding.
Each and every staff is trained to be a social entrepreneur as opposed to a project manager which is conventional in funded social enterprises. This enables them to have an entrepreneurial mindset instead of thinking oneself as a mere staff (p. 4, Laura Lao).
The social programs are initiated keeping in mind the nonprofit ideology, employability of weaker sections, community reciprocal giving and social entrepreneur training. Free economics and the principles of cross subsidies are followed to earn income by giving its social programs free (p. 5, Laura Luo). E-inclusion is limitless in its ideas and approach and can be adopted anywhere in the world. The modest and creative thinking for a greater opportunity avoids dependence on external support and funding programs.
The success rate of e-inclusion will be cent percent only if economic developments and policies are rightly influenced by technological trends in this era of digital revolution (p.20, Georgios). This awareness is being brought out by e-inclusion C.I.C through its model to make the society fully understand its impact on the economy and society.
Better digital e-inclusion in turn contribute to the strengthening of the human capital (Minos Conf).
“Be part of it, campaign,” said Viviane Reading in her closing address of the European commission’s 2008 e-inclusion, but it is far from the end of our commitment and actions in the field of e-inclusion.” (p. 3 Conf). Improved digital literacy is a major objective of the conference.
For e-inclusion to realize its full potential it has to make sense from economic and commercial perspectives (p. 5, conf.). A strong business case and a commitment to partnership working are the keys to unlock investment in inclusion. Social networks develop community building, user empowerment, knowledge creation and knowledge sharing ultimately leading towards a major innovation.
Economic, social and political incentives together make e-inclusion a reality. Innovation and creativity are the tools to make research and development in tune with the above mentioned reality (p.6, conf).
Ethical issues around the use of ICT needs more attention. The projects should comply with fundamental ethical principles. The best way to integrate ethical criteria into ICT products is to include this criteria in the product development from the very beginning rather than finding an alternative at a later stage. The future relies on product development of this kind (p. 7, conf).
Though e-inclusion is improving through research and innovation, the mission is not yet accomplished because the EU population do not fully benefit from the information society (p1. e-inclusion). More attention is needed towards digital divides related to age, disabilities or low literacy. A robust environmental tracking system to meet the data is required to measure and assess environmental impact and performance is a must (p. 92, Sissel). To achieve sustainability, effective change management principles are important for companies (p. 93, Sissel). The company works to establish sustainability vision, mission and values (p. 107, Sissel).
According to 2006 Riga Ministerial declaration, e-inclusion means both inclusive ICT and the use of ICT to achieve wider inclusion. It focuses on participation of all individuals and communities in all aspects of the information society (p 2, e inclusion….what next).
E-inclusion improves performance, employment opportunities, quality of life, social participation and cohesion. The current e-inclusion developments from a technology perspective are encouraging and promising.