Right to Repair and the Environment

I have a major environmental problem for you… Right to Repair. Basically, every manufacturer from phones to dishwashers to cars to heavy equipment have explicitly designed their products to not be repairable or only repairable by them. They also design products specifically to fail following warranty periods. Finance MBAs drive this to increase profits… And they’re right, it does. But it also is destroying the environment very rapidly. Think of the CO2 used to mine, smelt, refine, transport and build giant steel machines like my 27,000 lb excavator. Then think about most owners being forced to discard a perfectly good machine because John Deere charges $65,000 per copy for their software to repair it. Or that some machines would run 200% longer with only 5% more material being built in. It’s pervasive across every product you see.

Right to Repair is probably the most important legislation and business initiative for the environment. It probably could reduce global emissions from man made sources other than food and concrete (manufacturing, transport, energy) by 80%.

80% is a guesstimate based on the fact that heavy equipment designed in the 1950s had a lifespan of 40-100 years, while modern equipment is designed to fail at 10k hours /5-8 years… Soon after the warranty expires. Modern technology could design machines capable of lasting far longer, but that is not as profitable.

The same principle holds through all manufacturing… Products are designed to not be easily repaired, and to fail after the warranty period. Mining, smelting, forging, welding, manufacturing and transportation of products is enormously carbon intensive.

Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.