For today's customers, a commitment to environmental sustainability is increasingly important, and many FI's have publicly committed to being carbon neutral soon. To do so, FI's understand this commitment requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage.
THE COMPLICATIONS OF CALCULATING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Calculating the carbon footprint of electronics, like an ATM for example, is immensely complex. Ores are dug out of the ground and the metals extracted. These are turned into parts. Other components have to be brought together: rubber belts, plastic fittings, paint, etc. All of this involves transporting material around the world. The whole lot is then assembled, and every stage in the process requires energy.
In other words, the manufacturing of an ATM causes ripples that extend throughout the economy. To give one example among millions, the assembly plant uses phones, and they, in turn, had to be manufactured, along with the phone lines that transmit the calls. The ripples go on and on. Attempts to capture all these stages by adding them up individually are likely to be underestimated because the task is too big.
EMBODIED ENERGY ANALYSIS
To address this issue, Tellerex uses an accounting method called Embodied Energy Analysis, which aims to determine the footprint of the summed component materials used to produce a product. This sum is then added to the footprint of the energy required to provide transportation, usage, and ultimately decommission this electronic good. It is considered as if that energy was incorporated or 'embodied' in the product itself.
One advantage of using this analysis framework is the added flexibility to compare the impact between different product types – say an ATM and a car – on a more appropriate apples-to-apples comparison. Another advantage is the ease of calculating these metrics across multiple phases of an electronic unit's lifecycle. These include the initial manufacturing phase and subsequent refurbishment phases that the unit might undergo later.
Each product's environmental impact is analyzed over its entire life cycle (production, use, and disposal) and presented in terms of climate-damaging CO2 emissions. These analyses provide precise information about which elements of a product have to be altered to optimize its environmental footprint. The determination of CO2 emissions occurs via standard values per emission source. The sources used include the Federal Environmental Agency for calculations relating to energy carriers and the IFEU Institute for calculations about modes of transport.
Based on our Embodied Energy Analysis, the manufacturing of an average ATM (weighing 1751 pounds) generates approximately 7.35 tons of CO2e – nearly one-half of that of a new car or seven months' worth of gas and electricity in the typical US home. This is only a guideline figure, of course, as some may be more efficiently produced than others of the same price. But it's a reasonable ballpark estimate.
Likewise, the process of refurbishing ATM unit produces, in most cases, a like-new ATM unit while generating only 1.62 tons of CO2e, an 80% reduction in CO2e. Based on our analysis, most of this is based on transportation, energy usage, and customer consumption, which remains consistent between new and refurbished units.
However, even this conclusion should be caveated as a refurbished unit requires an initial ‘manufacturing phase’ before it can be actually be used and requires refurbishment.
To generate a more appropriate comparison, we include the CO2 created during the initial production of each unit into the environmental impact equation.
In doing so, we’ve determined a refurbished unit’s environmental impact (after refurbishment is completed) is generally one-half of the ecological effects of two new units used over the same timeframe.
Leveraging Tellerex's Lifecycle Management Solutions and utilizing just ONE refurbished unit creates the environmental equivalency of:
Choosing the right type of equipment can also significantly impact your efforts to limit your environmental impact. For instance, utilizing cash-recyclers can contribute to:
Reduced Cash-In-Transit (CIT) pickups - FI’s can reuse the cash collected by the machine throughout the day, reducing the frequency of CIT pick-up trips needed.
Eliminated CO2 - Reducing CIT trips weekly to monthly (assuming an average of 15 miles driven per trip) equates to the removal of nearly two metric tons of CO2 annually
THE PATH FORWARD
Shifting to a circular business model is a practical and attainable goal. While implementation looks different for every business, it is important to take the first steps towards prioritizing sustainability within your organization.
At Tellerex, our expertise and understanding of the requirements and options for safe recycling can help our customers and partners do the right thing. Contact our team today to develop a proactive and sustainable asset recovery strategy that can optimize the physical, financial, and contractual aspects of your electronic and ATM retirement.
If you'd like to learn more, subscribe to our blog or check out our Deep Dive Series on Sustainability. We’ll keep these sources regularly updated with tips and information to help you get the most out of your ATMs.
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Tellerex is committed to leveraging our knowledge and experience to reduce ATM expenses and accelerate their contribution to your bottom line. To learn more about our solutions, contact us by e-mail or visit us online.