When we hear about sustainability, the first thing that comes to mind is recycling. But that isn’t always the case. What if sustainable practices began before the need for recycling even occurred? In the world of technology and enterprise, this isn’t just a concept, it’s a reality.
Take charging for example. It’s one of the most practical and necessary, yet dispensable practices we can’t live without. Charging enables literally almost everything we do at work. Yet, according to a recent report out of the European Union, not only are we “cord dependent” but this dependency with laptop and phone chargers alone (in the EU) creates 35,000 tons of e-waste annually which is equal to greenhouse gas emissions of over 2,200 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent and removing 1.2 million cars from the road. And by cars, take note, they don’t mean electric ones!
While these numbers are staggering, it is essential to remember that they aren’t global. Those numbers are for Europe alone. Companies across the globe, from the United States to Israel and Africa to South America are working tirelessly to reduce our carbon footprint, support the earth and reduce everything from carbon gasses to waste in landfills.
This fight has taken hold each time we recycle something – but again, what if we didn’t even get that far? Tremendous strides in the sustainability world have been made by stopping the waste before it is created. And charging isn’t the only example of this – it’s simply the one we are addressing today.
Did you know that enterprises in the United States are responsible for 15% of all e-waste annually? That waste is primarily from batteries, cords, chargers, and such. DeepCharge set out to combat that dependency years ago. And we did it for two reasons. First, we wanted to make the office safer, more productive (not more forgotten cords, tripping over plugs in the office), and ultimately more aesthetically pleasing to engineer enhanced creativity. Second, and more importantly, we wanted to create a sustainable charging solution that works one hundred percent of the time – for literally every device on the market and in one small package that is hidden under a desk or table or laid out as a small mat.
After years of research, we achieved our mission. Today, DeepCharge, our Boston-based startup, with revolutionary universal infrastructure-based wireless charging technology, is deployed in multiple locations as part of the early enterprise access program. It has changed the trajectory of university spaces, won awards, and is changing how we work. But this article isn’t about DeepCharge. It’s about something far greater. It’s about creating a sustainability practice that isn’t another step or thing we have to do in the enterprise. It’s about literally deploying a sustainable practice that’s, let’s face it, sustainable.
We need a solution that’s exponentially more powerful in the enterprise and keeps our teams working productively while helping preserve our precious earth. By having a universal charging solution, we are achieving all of our goals and so much more.
For many in the enterprise, a universal charging solution seems years away. However, it is a win/win for everyone. A universal charging solution reduces costs, enhances productivity, reduces the carbon footprint of each device and every person using it, reduces the production of e-waste, and more. In fact, except for those selling the needless quantities of cords, it simply makes sense.
Think of it this way, there are an estimated 500,000,000 chargers shipped from the EU annually (alone) and three times that in cords. That’s 1,500,000,000 cords shipped annually, many of which are duplicates (one for the home and one for the office). The reality is that based on these numbers there is already ongoing policy debate about how to reduce our cord dependency.
By steering innovation toward positive sustainable outcomes, we are literally changing the trajectory of everything around us. While the shift to USB-C/USB 3.1 + power delivery protocols was a step in the right direction, it’s time to take another leap forward. In doing so, we are taking bold action, embracing change, and helping the earth on a global scale. Small steps lead to big changes and in the world of wireless charging, that change is already here.
“If we can charge a car at our house, we can charge anything,” says DeepCharge President and Co-founder, Kaushik Chowdhury. “It’s time to embrace truly wireless charging at scale, remove the cords in the enterprise, and enable our employees and our technology to work at optimal levels in a sustainable manner that simply makes sense.”