Quantifying the conservation value of independent, place-based repair: a case study of an electronics repair cluster in Lima, Peru
conference contributionposted on 2021-06-17, 11:21 authored by Josh Lepawsky, Kathia Cáceres, Marco Gusukuma, Ramzy Kahhat
Repair and maintenance of consumer electronics can conserve the materials and energy they embody. Independent or third-party businesses are important sites of such repair and maintenance activity. While the value of such businesses is sometimes captured in official socioeconomic statistics (e.g., employment; tax revenues; contribution to GDP), little attention has been paid to their role in the conservation of resources. In this paper we examine the conservation value of a cluster of independent third-party electronics repair businesses in Lima, Peru. Using life cycle assessment (LCA) of phones and tablets we quantify the conservation value of this cluster in terms of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and water consumption relative to new manufactures of the same categories of electronics. We then discuss the politics of attributing the conservation value achieved by the third-party repair cluster in Lima to either domestic (that is, Peruvian) or foreign CO2e . Whose conservation of CO2e is this? How do the answers to that question shape understandings of the relevance of location for industrial ecology? Our work contributes to the broader field of spatially explicit LCAs and their incorporation into the emerging subfield of political industrial ecology.