As highlighted in my previous article, we recently launched a pilot focused on sustainable computing, partnered with Framework.

At my company, we prioritise our “Healthy Purpose”, which is the platform through which we engage with our employees, communities and industry leaders across more than 90 countries, to provide global, sustainable solutions to make an impact.

With over 20,000 end-user devices (e.g., laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets) deployed globally, there is a real opportunity to reduce e-waste, whilst also driving cost savings by re-thinking the processes used to support hardware lifecycle management, upgrades and repairs.

The pilot includes 40 laptops (UK and US), initially prioritising our engineering and scientist communities. The specifications of the laptops being tested can be found below, which is comparable to our current standard provided by Dell.

Framework Laptop 13

  • Intel i5-1340P 4.6GHz Boost (12C/16T)
  • 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM
  • Western Digital Black SN770 NVMe M.2 500GB (4GB/s Read) SSD
  • 13.5-inch 3:2 LCD Display (2256x1504 @ 60Hz)
  • 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI

Framework Laptop 13

  • AMD Ryzen 5 7640U 4.9GHz Boost (6C/12T)
  • 16GB DDR5-5600 RAM
  • Western Digital Black SN770 NVMe M.2 500GB (7.3GB/s Read) SSD
  • 13.5-inch 3:2 LCD Display (2256x1504 @ 60Hz)
  • 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI

Framework Laptop 16

  • AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS 5.2GHz Boost (8C/16T)
  • 32GB DDR5-5600 RAM
  • Western Digital Black SN850X NVMe M.2 1TB (7.3GB/s Read) SSD
  • AMD Radeon RX 7700S 8GB GDDR6
  • 16-inch 16:10 LCD Display (2560x1600 @ 165Hz - VRR and FreeSync)
  • 3x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 1x Audio

Although we will be collecting user feedback regarding the suitability of each Framework laptop, the primary goal is to validate our hypothesis regarding sustainability and cost efficiencies.

Specifically, we estimate that 8,000 Dell laptops would produce 23,200kg (23.2 Tons) of e-waste. We believe this impact could be reduced to 15,465kg (15.47 Tons) of e-waste when using Framework, which is a decrease of 33% per hardware lifecycle. This would be achieved by extending the life of the laptops by reusing components vs. a full laptop replacement.

The same logic should apply to the return on investment, with 8,000 Dell laptops costing approximately $10,000,000. With Framework, through component servicing and upgrades, we believe the 10-year total cost of ownership could be significantly lower, recognising that this time horizon would ordinarily include multiple hardware lifecycle events.

In addition, we see an average of 500 laptop failures per year, resulting in an additional $650,000 investment. The majority of these failures are serviceable components (e.g., keyboards, displays, batteries). Therefore, Framework could reduce our annual repair cost by up to 86%.

With this context, the pilot covers the following areas, looking to ensure Framework (and sustainable computing concepts) are viable for an enterprise business, specifically the processes, capabilities and architecture.

  1. Enrolment (Microsoft Autopilot, Intune)
  2. Supportability (Repair, Maintenance)
  3. Lifecycle Management (Upgrades, Recycling)
  4. Global Distribution (Value Added Reseller Support)
  5. Security (Hardware, Software Controls)
  6. User Experience (Performance, Usability, Durability)

The processes are a critical area, as today our support and lifecycle management processes are designed to replace the entire laptop, which is very simple (low overhead), but inefficient from a sustainability standpoint. With Framework, we hope to extend the life of the laptop by reusing components. Therefore, the processes will need to be evolved, whilst avoiding user impact and/or incurring additional cost/complexity (which would erode the return on investment).

Alongside the processes, we must also consider the impact on our architecture. Our laptop user base is 95% Microsoft Windows (Microsoft Windows 10/11), leveraging Microsoft Autopilot for enrollment. Therefore, a critical aspect of our testing is to understand the impact of hardware changes, recognising that Microsoft Autopilot is reliant on a hardware hash (uniquely generated from the specific hardware).

The first phase of the pilot will likely run through to December, at which point we will decide the next step. However, we have already started discussions regarding the potential for scale.

Overall, I remain incredibly excited by the work we are doing with Framework and am eager to see how the pilot evolves.

A huge thanks to Nirav Patel, Chris Lombardozzi and the team at Framework for the continued partnership!