Carbon and water conservation value of independent, place-based repair in Lima, Peru

Josh Lepawsky, Kathia Cáceres, Marco Gusukuma, Ramzy Kahhat

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

1 Cita (Scopus)


To what extent do repair and maintenance of consumer electronics conserve the materials and energy they embody? In this paper we examine the conservation value of a cluster of independent third-party electronics repair businesses in Lima, Peru. Drawing on a combination of methods that include fieldwork, digital methods for online sociology, and life cycle assessment (LCA) of phones and tablets we quantify the conservation value of typical repairs performed at businesses in this cluster in terms of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and water consumption relative to new manufactures of the same categories of electronics. We model typical repair scenarios and find that repair can offer substantial conservation benefits. However, these benefits vary by device sub-unit repaired (e.g., replacing a camera vs. replacing a display). For example, while two screen repairs through replacement is nearly equivalent to replacement with a whole new device, repairing with components that are already in the market could save around 10% of total emissions in global warming potential (GWP) for both devices. Further, we 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 and water consumption. Whose conservation of CO2e and water is this? How do the answers to that question shape understandings of the relevance of location for industrial ecology? Our work contributes to the emerging subfield of political industrial ecology and its incorporation of spatially explicit LCAs.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)896-907
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónJournal of Industrial Ecology
EstadoPublicada - jun. 2023


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