Leading the charge for a circular economy at the inaugural GDSA Summit

Mimi Moll, IT and Telecoms Sustainability Lead (pictured right on stage with Emily Watson-Breeze, Sustainability GTM Manager for BT Group), recently represented n2s at the inaugural summit of the UK Government Digital Sustainability Alliance (GDSA), which took place on 20th March at the London Science Museum.

Leaders in technology and government representatives assembled to tackle the challenges of driving forwards the future of sustainable IT.

The event featured updates on progress made by the GDSA working groups: Circular Economy; Scope 3 Emissions; and Planetary Impact and input from key industry figures, as well as providing opportunities to network with others in this space.

n2s was one of the original signatories of the GDSA charter in Nov 22 and actively represents the SME community within the alliance. Mimi, who sits on the Circular Economy working group and was a presenter at the summit, commented:

“Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of e-waste are being generated each year in the UK. Not enough of it is being recycled. The circular economy needs to design out waste but, at the moment, we are still creating too much of it.”

Mimi Moll, IT Sustainability and Telecoms Lead

Mimi added “All summit attendees were urged to leave their badges at the door to remove any corporate or organisational prejudice or baggage that might undermine neutrality and get in the way of finding collaborative solutions.” 

“Our working group presented on the barriers hindering progress towards a circular economy. Partnering with key sponsor DXC, with materials scavenged from n2s’s “e-waste mine”, we commissioned artist, Zak Miskry, to create The Chameleon e-waste sculpture. This artwork represents the symbiotic relationship between technology and nature and is a symbol of the adaptations society must embrace. The Chameleon will feature in phase 2 of the technology amnesty, which is being delivered for Defra by DXC and supported by n2s over the coming months, aimed to prevent hoarding and stockpiling of legacy technology”.

Panel experts on stage at the GDSA Summit Event.
L-R: Jack Simmonds (Presale Manager & GDSA Event Host, Dell Technologies), Dr Lucia Corsini (Research Fellow, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities), Henrik Hvid Jenson (Industry Managing Partner, DXC Technology), Ilana Lassman (Sustainability & ESG Lead EMEA, Dell Technologies), Jason Kitcat (Director of Digital, Data & Technology, DBT), and Jeff Borrman (CEO, Bioscope Technologies).

Amongst other industry leaders addressing the summit was Chris Howes, Chief Digital Information Officer at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who welcomed the coming together of academia, private sector, and government and the opportunities it creates for current and prospective GDSA partners and other stakeholders to explore digital solutions and strengthen relationships across the UK IT sector.

Multi-Emmy and Bafta award-winning cinematographer, Toby Strong, showed some of his film work and spoke about the power of technology to capture the wonder of the natural world. He urged all attendees to “be brilliant”, stating that they have run out of time to be anything less and shared a message from his friend and colleague, Sir David Attenborough, urging all of us to move past procrastination and hesitation, to take bold action and to “get on with it.”     

Mimi concluded, “I left the summit with a sense of optimism about the positive steps we are taking, as a business, to redefine IT circularity, and with a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to our shared goals. The event left me optimistic that, as an industry working in collaboration and harnessing innovation, we can forge a path towards a more sustainable future.”

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Andrew Gomarsall speaking

Andrew Gomarsall

Executive Director

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