Extending the Life of Connected Devices: Driving Sustainability and Promoting Digital Equity
Author: Suzanne Shepherd
We live in an increasingly connected world where consumers rely on connected devices more than ever before – a trend that accelerated during the global pandemic. While living in isolation, we found ourselves turning to our devices to keep working, learning and connecting. In fact, Assurant’s latest "Connected Decade" survey found that consumer use of connected devices in the U.S. increased by 50 percent from 2019 to 2021. Moreover, U.S. consumers spent 41 percent more time on connected devices in 2021 than they had in 2020. In this environment, developing innovative solutions to extend the useful life of connected devices such as mobile phones and tablets – or at the very least recycling materials from devices that are no longer usable – is more critical than ever. Every device that is repaired and returned to the customer or refurbished to be sold in the secondary market – rather than locked away in a drawer or consigned to a landfill – provides a positive impact on the environment. It directly reduces electronic waste generation, carbon emissions and the need for virgin materials, including metals and minerals used in device production, ore and water. And it makes devices more accessible, which improves digital equity.