Climate On Tour
The visit was part of a roadshow organised by 'de Vlaamse Ondernemers' - 19 employers' and sector organisations - who aim to inspire young people to choose a job in a sector where sustainability is central. Out Of Use showed what happens to discarded electronic devices. Watt4Ever showed students how they transform electric car batteries into high-quality industrial green battery systems.
New life for discarded material
Out of Use recycles electrical and electronic devices. A lot of devices, because with increasing digitalisation, the use (and therefore the waste) of electronics increases every day. This while the production of new appliances generates considerable CO2 emissions. This is why Out of Use recycles the used appliances into secondary raw materials, which has helped avoid 81,780 tonnes of CO2 emissions in recent years. The appliances that can still be reused are returned to the market. Today, the number of appliances that the company gives a second life in this way is already 30% of the total number. The company does not stand still, but also looks ahead.
Reuse of batteries from electric cars
In 2020, Out of Use was one of the five founding partners of Watt4Ever, a startup specialising in transforming electric car batteries into energy storage systems. By reusing batteries, Watt4Ever is working with the automotive sector to solve two major future problems. By 2030, half of all cars sold will be electric. This naturally brings an increase in batteries, which sooner or later will have to be replaced. One Watt4Ever battery of 1800 kWh avoids 18 tonnes of waste.
Transforming e-batteries into energy storage systems
On the other hand, due to increasing electrification and rising energy prices, there is a growing demand for energy storage systems. Because of course we would like to recharge our electric car at home or at work, whether or not by electricity produced by our own solar panels. The Watt4Ever storage systems offer an answer to both problems. In addition, the CO2 impact of a Watt4Ever battery is 80% lower than when using a new battery. In this way the company helps to reduce the carbon footprint of electric vehicles.
Finding solutions together
With a roadshow through the five Flemish provinces, the Flemish Entrepreneurs - 19 Flemish employers' and sector organisations - let ministers and young people discover for themselves the positive impact that companies have on the climate challenges. They show that sustainable business is really in the DNA of Flemish companies. In each Flemish province, two companies receive a delegation with employers, a Flemish minister and a class of pupils or students from the neighbourhood. All travel during the sustainability tour is done with a hybrid bus of De Lijn. "We want to inspire young people to choose a course of study that will allow them to help build a sustainable future for our economy".
Out of Use
"The importance of education and more specifically STEM disciplines cannot be stressed enough. They are our workforce and assets of tomorrow. As an environmental company, we are happy to welcome young people and the minister in order to warm them up to how we put sustainability into practice at Out of Use and Watt4Ever, with a real impact on people and the environment," says CEO Mark Adriaenssens.