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What are 5Rs of Sustainable Development Goal?

#Sustainability goals and targets are not only limited to organisational level who are investing huge amount of money, time and resource to achieve net zero carbon emission or reduce carbon foot print. Every individual has to put their contribution in attaining these targets within defined and agreed timelines, it's everyone's responsibility to contribute to it. And it cannot be achieved by planting some trees during some drives initiated by NGOs/social workers etc. but it need a focused approach in every decision you make in your day to day life. Here is 5R approach to support the targets we all have taken and this is applicable to every individual and to every organisation and at every department level.

The 5R of sustainable development goals (SDG) are termed as "Refuse", "Reduce", "Repair", "Reuse" and "Recycle".

Refuse: Don't buy anything which you/your organisation do not need to use, you will avoid carbon emission generated during complete phase of its manufacturing and further emission during its usage and final disposal. e.g. if you buy a laptop and bring to your door steps, you become responsible for carbon emission happened during its manufacturing process starting from extraction of raw material, manufacturing of each component and the finished product. Its not only the emission of carbon emission, we are also responsible for use of natural resources like raw material, fresh water etc during its production and delivery till our door steps. Further, while we use that product we again need electricity to charge its battery which contributes to carbon emission and finally when we dispose the device afters its life we contribute to air, water and soil pollution based on methods of disposal. Off course, if it is absolute necessity, we have to buy the product.   

Reduce: Try to reduce the purchasing of unwanted stuff which are not used rather remain in your stores. This will not only save your money rather reduce your scope-3 emissions. As an end user, avoid buying additional items just because you get something free on purchase of other product. Reduce the use of single use items, like plastic bags, use and throw cups etc.

Repair: Rather than using product for a traditionally defined life span and disposing/e-wasting after that time period, try for repair and extend product's life and use as long as you can use instead of buying a new product and adding to your scope-3 emission. For example IT products are said to standard have 5yr life, hence post 5yrs check if OEM is ready to support under AMC contract else we may opt for third party AMC support providers. Same is applicable to electrical equipment, furniture and any other machinery being operated in your environment.

Reuse: Reusing a product can include repair as mentioned in previous point. Also, if any product is not in use by you/your organisation, it can be given away or exchanged with someone else who want to give away some product which they don't need to use any more. If your software developers need high end machines and their machines are outdated, they can be allocated to normal users who don't need very high configuration machines. Lots of refurbished laptops, servers, switches etc. are available in market by many suppliers with limited warranty also, using such refurbished products again reduce your scope-3 emission.

Recycle: This comes at the end of the full life of a product wherein we plan for dispose away the product as repair and reuse has already been done with the product. Mostly manufacturing companies works on utilising disposed products and try to recover usable components out of it and use in new product. Rather than adding to its scope-3 emission during the upstream part where the raw material is extracted and the components are manufactured and delivered to their door steps. Many manufactures have started taking back their own old products from their customer for such recycling wherein they pay for the buy back that we call circular economy.


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