Integral to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s core beliefs is our commitment to making a positive difference in the world—exemplified by our pledge to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change by 2030. We are proud to share EO member James Kilkelly‘s efforts to disrupt the linear economy with his innovative approach to addressing electronic waste.
Earth’s population is expected to swell to 9 billion people by 2030. With more people depending on our planet’s finite natural resources, it will take careful planning to ensure that these resources meet future consumer demand. Unfortunately, our current linear economy produces enormous amounts of waste—and electronic waste is one of the fastest-growing categories to address.
That’s why businesses and industries must embrace the circular economy—the economy of the future―where we move away from wasteful practices, prioritize recycling and avoid dumping products into landfills. But how do we get there?
James Kilkelly is founder and CEO of Tellerex, a company that enables its customers in the banking and banking technology industry to manage their ATM assets in a secure, compliant and environmentally responsible manner. The company is also leading the charge to guide the banking technology industry and its original equipment manufacturers on how to produce large equipment, such as ATM machines, in a sustainable way.
ATM Lifecycle Planning and Asset Management
Many banks routinely decommission tier 1 ATM machines as waste after just five years in service. With toxic components intact, these behemoths end up in landfills to fester.
Kilkelly’s company focuses a keen eye toward manufacturing methods and supply chain control that maximize the life cycle of ATMs, allowing for simple refurbishing and repurposing. Most importantly, at the end of their service life, 100 percent of these machines can be recycled into other products. Their metals, plastics and circuit boards can be separated and reused for other products.
With four key initiatives, Kilkelly is making a positive impact in and around his home of Atlanta, Georgia.
1. ATM Lifecycle Planning and Asset Management.
Tellerex is committed to extending the service life of existing ATM machines, which ultimately reduces costs for banks and consumers. Tellerex manages and enhances more than 400 ATM units each month for the largest financial institutions in the world. The company has saved its banking clients $5 million in ATM-related expenses and operational cost reductions—cost savings that are passed on to consumers in the Greater Metro Atlanta region. This work also promotes a cleaner environment as fewer machines end up in local landfills, where their toxic elements could contaminate soil and water supply.
Read more about EO’s support of the UN SDGs.
2. Refurbishing ATM Units to Extend Their Service Life.
At the end of an ATM’s first-run lifecycle in a tier 1 facility, Tellerex repurposes the machine for use in a tier 2 facility, such as a credit union or financial firm. Just by changing out a processor, these refurbished machines can remain in the field, sometimes doubling their length of service before being decommissioned. This practice preserves finite resources and avoids the need for newly manufactured machines.
Naturally, data security is a critical part of every asset retirement process. Tellerex ensures that all information is either overwritten or that the asset is cleared using industry-standard data eradication methods or destroyed.
3. Responsible Recycling.
ATM units can be separated into parts and materials enabling their use in new products, displacing the need for new raw materials. Kilkelly’s company works with certified recycling partners to carefully monitor each step of the process, including the material’s initial sorting and shredding to reduce size and bulk. This process ensures they maximize what can be recycled.
4. Embracing the Circular Economy.
With guidance from Tellerex, original equipment manufacturers produce large equipment—including ATMs and ITMs—with manufacturing methods and supply chain built for a longer life because of the ease of changing out processors and other key components. At the end of the service life, the components are 100% recyclable and can be melted down to manufacture other products. In a world with ever-increasing automation and growth in the self-service industry powered by technology, finding ways that original equipment manufacturers can embrace sustainability and participate in the Circular Economy is a huge benefit to every consumer.
By identifying and addressing the issue of sustainability in a previously wasteful, linear space, Kilkelly has made a significant contribution to the environment, both now and for decades to come. In addition to introducing sustainability to the industry, his efforts in refurbishing ATMs to extend their service life helps lower the costs of banking for corporations as well as citizens. This #EOImpact story is a true win-win-win!
James Kilkelly is a member of the EO Atlanta chapter. He joined EO in 2004. He is an international technology entrepreneur having co-founded multiple organizations, including Tellerex. James is also a visionary leader with an emphasis on people, strategy and business execution for the organizations he serves.