Posts Tagged circular economy

Farnham Repair Café launches free Repair Café Carbon Calculator V2  

April 13th, 2022, Farnham, Surrey.  Farnham Repair Café (FRC) launches its latest version – V2 – of its Repair Café Carbon Calculator today, and confirms that the free online tool – https://frc.cfsd.org.uk/index.php/rc-carbon-calculator-standard – is available with immediate effect to repair cafés and similar organisations anywhere in the world.

The upgrade complements “Right to Repair” laws and emerging trends around “Right to Repair” in March 2021, the first-ever right to repair laws came into effect in the EU, with the UK following four months later. Manufacturers in Europe are now legally obligated to ensure that electric and electronic goods, such as televisions and fridges, can be repaired for up to 10 years after purchase.  On March 30th 2022 the EC launched its Sustainable Product Initiative (SPI), to ensure that products in the EU market are designed to be repairable, recyclable, durable, energy-efficient and free of hazardous chemicals.

“Repair Café Carbon Calculator V2 displays information on users’ carbon savings in a more easily and clearly understood way,” says its developer Steve Privett, a former FRC trustee and repairer, and currently a consultant and researcher.

FRC’s founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Professor Martin Charter, comments, “The new version will help repair cafés and other organisations to further realise and promote the benefits of repairing a product – that extends its life – compared to replacement with something new.

“Repairing is a vital way of preventing waste, reducing CO2 emissions and combatting the ‘buy now, throwaway later’ culture.”

Privett says, “There are no changes to how the tool operates or the calculation methods used. But, inside, the software has been re-engineered to display results through graphic images – and give a more descriptive equivalence to carbon savings via an example range of ‘everyday’ activities such as driving, air travel and hot showering. For example, 35 kg of repaired electrical items at a repair café session would save 306 kg of carbon emissions, the equivalent emissions of taking 191 hot showers.” 

Emphasising that the new version makes it easier for organisers and users of repair cafés to understand and communicate environmental benefits to the public, he adds, “For example, a repair café keeping a record of the calculator’s results could say, “Since opening, we have saved the equivalent carbon emissions of someone flying 235,000 miles or driving a new petrol car more than 160,000 miles.”

Also new is a graph showing a percentage breakdown of the carbon emission savings contribution from each product repair category. It helps users quickly see how different repair categories contribute to the overall carbon emission savings, and how or where savings might be improved.

Additionally, the calculator features a graph showing the carbon emission savings intensity of repairs. This helps users to see if their repair café results or sessions are above or below the UK average calculated from original research data. Says Privett, “When more products – that created high carbon emissions when they were originally manufactured – are repaired, the carbon intensity of repairs moves to a higher level, and vice versa for products that created low carbon emissions during manufacture and transportation.”

Quick carbon calculator option

Users not requiring a comprehensive view of results via the standard calculator model can use the “quick” option. It allows users to rapidly estimate their carbon emission savings of a repair by entering either the total weight of successful repairs or the total number of items repaired successfully. 

The option takes into account other factors that impact carbon emission emissions savings, including how many products are taken by the average visitor for repair and how many miles they will have driven to and from the repair café or other repair organisation.

Collaboration

The original version of the Repair Café Carbon Calculator was launched in 2020 and was the result of three months-long collaboration between Steve Privett and Professor Charter. Funding came from University for the Creative Arts UCA, following an award from the Strategic Priorities Fund from Research England. The calculator was ground-breaking internationally and replaced guesswork and paper-based methods. The calculator is still believed to be the only repair café carbon calculator of its kind.

User comments about the original version

“It’s very user friendly; very easy to enter items by weight and category; and the results summary is very useful” –  Emilia Barnett, Alton Repair Café.

“We have used the calculator to work out the amount of carbon equivalent saved for items repaired. Consequently, it has been, and will be used, for a variety of items – electrical, other household, material, tools, bicycles etc. The strengths of the calculator are that it is easy to understand and gives a consistent approach to working out carbon saved” – Laura Harley, Overton Repair Café.

About FRC

FRC is open on every second Saturday of the month between 10am – 12.30pm and offers advice and repairs on all kinds of products, from vacuum cleaners, headphones and lights, to hats, jackets, pushchairs and bicycles.  Address: FRC, The Spire Church, South Street, Farnham, GU9 7QU. 

Founded in 2015, FRC became a UK-registered repair café charity in 2017, working in collaboration between The Centre for Sustainable Design ® at University of the Creative Arts, Farnham Town Council and The Spire Church in Farnham UK.  FRC is part of the global Repair Café movement of 2283 (as of March 2022), led by The Repair Café International Foundation – founded in the Netherlands in 2011.

More about FRC https://frc.cfsd.org.uk

Below: a screenshot of the Quick Carbon Calculator option.


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Free-to-use “Repair Café Carbon Calculator” launched by Farnham Repair Café through a collaboration with the University for the Creative Arts

April 22nd 2020, Farnham, Surrey, UK. Farnham Repair Café [FRC] today launches its in-house designed Repair Café Carbon Calculator, a free and easy-to-use online platform aimed at repair cafés – and other repair organisations – in the UK and internationally.

Available in two versions, Quick and Standard, the calculator is believed to be the first online tool that reports CO2 emission savings resulting from product repairs.

Quick – https://frc.cfsd.org.uk/index.php/rc-carbon-calculator-quick – calculates emission savings by using weight or number of repairs across all product types. Standard – https://frc.cfsd.org.uk/index.php/rc-carbon-calculator-standard – can be used by repair cafés that keep individual product repair records and group their successful repairs, by weight or number into categories e.g. bicycles, computing, electricals, mechanicals, clothing, jewellery etc – thereby giving a more precise estimate of carbon emissions and landfill savings.

“Many repair cafés have traditionally used simple paper-based ‘measure by weight’ methods”, says Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design [CfSD], University for the Creative Arts (UCA), and Chair of the Board of Trustees of FRC. “Our carbon calculator enables users to quickly estimate emission savings by weight or even just the number of successful repairs alone, or in greater detail by product repair category.”

Professor Martin Charter

Professor Charter

The Standard version can also show where repair cafés are having the most success in carbon emission savings, by product type – not just by weight. “Repair is particularly beneficial in electrical products such as smartphones, tablets and computers, because they contain a very high level of embedded carbon emissions due to the global supply chains,” adds Professor Charter.

Collaboration

The Repair Café Carbon Calculator is the result of three months-long collaboration between FRC trustee Steve Privett and Professor Charter. Funding came from UCA, following an award from the Strategic Priorities Fund from Research England.

At the heart of the calculator is a methodology based on data and information from FRC – and other repair cafés in the UK – that was used by Privett in his dissertation on “Potential impact of UK Repair Cafés on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.” The dissertation was completed for his master’s degree in sustainable development.

Privett comments, “The research indicates that the majority of people whose products are repaired at the UK’s repair cafés continue to use them instead of buying newly manufactured replacements. This reduction in product consumption helps to preserve finite resources and lower carbon emissions and is particularly effective when products with a short usable life cycle, of which there are many, are given a new lease of life through repair.

“We hope the calculator will help to further inform and motivate communities towards a culture of repair rather than replace.”

Farnham Repair Cafe

Farnham Repair Cafe

The calculator takes a number of variables into consideration in its calculations. Included are average transport emissions to and from the repair café, spare parts use, rebound consumption and savings made by reducing the total sum of greenhouses gases that would have been released by manufacturing new products if the products had not been repaired by a repair café.

Research on impacts

Says Professor Charter, “Very little hard data about repair cafés’ potential ability to mitigate CO2 emissions has been published to date. Our calculator is the first tool to give repair cafés the opportunity to change that, by using more accurate evidence-based estimations of CO2 savings from product repairs.

“Making our calculator free-to-use by repair cafes and other repair organisations worldwide will, we anticipate, help policy makers, manufacturers, repairers and customers make the connection between the circular economy and climate change.

“Historically, broader environmental benefits of repair cafés have been highlighted in the media and social media. The calculator enables more specific evidencebased  estimates of CO2 emissions, showing the real impact that repair cafes can make.

“Social and community are also an important aspect of repair cafés. We are seeing increased community interest and, when covid-19 lockdown and social distancing are lifted, repair cafés can expect to see a further strengthening of their relationship with their local communities.”

More about the calculator: https://frc.cfsd.org.uk/index.php/about/

FRC is open on every second Saturday of the month between 10am – 12.30pm and offers advice and repairs on all kinds of products, from vacuum cleaners, headphones and lights, to hats, jackets, pushchairs and bicycles.  Address: FRC, The Spire Church, South Street, Farnham, GU9 7QU.

Founded in 2015, FRC, a UK-registered repair café charity, is a collaborative project between UCA, CfSD at UCA, Farnham Town Council and The Spire Church in Farnham UK. It is part of the global Repair Café movement of nearly 2100, led by The Repair Café International Foundation – founded in the Netherlands in 2011; the number of repair cafés in the UK has doubled over the last year to more than 125.

Says Professor Charter, “Our repairers are highly skilled and do a brilliant job. To date we have organised 58 sessions and had 3,000 visitors to Farnham Repair Café since launch. There have been almost 1300 repairs at a 65 percent repair rate with over 3.7 tonnes being diverted from landfill, and we have reduced CO2 by 34.5 tonnes, and seen over £91,000 saved by repairing instead of buying new.”

More about FRC https://frc.cfsd.org.uk

For more information please contact Martin Charter mcharter@uca.ac.uk

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Farnham Repair Café’s “Repair Café Carbon Calculator” is previewed at the UK’s first Repair Café Conference today

March 12. 2020.  Farnham, Surrey, UK. The UK’s first Repair Café Conference – held today and organised by The Centre for Sustainable Design [CfSD] at University for the Creative Arts (UCA) – sees a preview of a first, an online “Repair Café Carbon Calculator”, and a demonstration of 3D printing for spare parts as used by Farnham Repair Café (FRC).

This is the first time the calculator https://repaircafes.carboncalculator.sp-consulting.online/index.php/es-calc/ has been previewed in public ahead of its official launch on 31st March. Also on 31st March, a new FRC website will be launched at https://frc.cfsd.org.uk/

The conference – https://cfsd.org.uk/events/repair-cafes-conference  –  at UCA, Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7DS – discusses new research on global repair café and visitors’ behaviour, new innovations, and sharing best practice on issues related to running repair cafes and the repair of electronics, textiles, mechanicals, furniture and bicycles.

Delegates include representatives from repair cafés, local authorities, green organisations and academia.

The calculator rapidly calculates, via any given weight or number of repaired products, how much CO2 is potentially saved. It takes into account variables including average transport emissions to and from the repair café, spare parts use, rebound consumption and the savings made by reducing the total sum of greenhouse gases that would have been released by manufacturing new products, had these products not been successfully repaired by repair cafés in the UK.

It will be available from 31st March for use by repair cafés and any other organisations and individuals anywhere in the world, free of charge.

The calculator is the result of collaboration between FRC trustee and volunteer Steve Privett and UCA’s Professor Martin Charter, Director, CfSD and Chair of the Board of Trustees of FRC. The project has been funded by UCA as a result of an award from Research England.

Professor Martin Charter

Professor Martin Charter

In the beginning…

“There wasn’t a specific ‘eureka, who was keen to make it accessible by anyone with an internet connection. The idea evolved from there into the calculator we see today. At its core is a sound methodology based on information and data from Farnham Repair Café and other repair cafés in the UK.”

The information and data were used by Privett in his dissertation on “Potential impact of UK Repair Cafés on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions” for his masters degree in sustainable development at the University of Surrey, where he gained a distinction in his masters degree thesis.

Says Professor Charter, “Research on the social impacts of repair café has been highlighted in the media and on social media, but very little about their potential ability to mitigate CO2 emissions has been published. The calculator should help change that and give more accurate estimations of CO2 saved.

“It’s also an excellent example of how the circular economy – repairing products, example – can reduce the impact of climate change by helping to reduce CO2 emissions.”

Privett comments, “Prior to the preview on 12th March, the methodology that the calculator is based on has seen international interest from repair cafés, academics, research students and repair organisations.”

3D printing

About the 3D printing demonstration at the conference, Privett says, “3D printing has the ability to revolutionise how repair cafés can further lower CO2 emissions and landfill by being able to repair a wider range of goods, thereby reducing the need to ‘buy new’. Products repaired at FRC using 3D printing have included an antique style lamp, mechanical toys, torches and  custom appliance fittings, and promotional keyrings have been produced for FRC.”

A user of FRC, local resident Desi Lyon, says, “Waste of resources is a huge global problem and we no longer bring our children up in a culture of looking after things and repairing them. Not only does Farnham Repair Café offer knowledgeable and helpful engineers and other experts to fix broken items, but its very existence makes me hopeful that communities and individuals can have the power to change national policies and effect change.”

FRC is open on every second Saturday of the month between 10am – 1pm, when it provides advice on, and repair of, many kinds of products, from vacuum cleaners, headphones and lights, to hats, jackets, pushchairs and bicycles.  Address: FRC, The Spire Church, South Street, Farnham, GU9 7QU.

Founded in 2015, FRC, a UK-registered repair café charity, is a collaborative project between UCA, CfSD at UCA, Farnham Town Council and The Spire Church in Farnham UK.  It is part of the global Repair Café movement of over 2000, led by The Repair Café International Foundation – founded in the Netherlands in 2011; the number of repair cafés in the UK has doubled over the last year to more than 125.

Says Professor Charter, “Our repairers are highly skilled and do a brilliant job. To date we have organised 58 sessions and had 3,000 visitors to Farnham Repair Café since launch. There have been almost 1300 repairs at a 65 percent repair rate with over 3.7 tonnes being diverted from landfill, and we have reduced CO2 by 32.4 tonnes, and seen over £91,000 saved by repairing instead of buying new.”

More about FRC: https://cfsd.org.uk/events/farnham_repair_cafe/ and CfSD: https://cfsd.org.uk

For more information  contact Martin Charter mcharter@uca.ac.uk

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