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Closing the Loop:
Generating Value from Power Distribution End-of-Life​ 

Presented by Matthew Wise
Global Head of Strategy & Business Development, Electrification Service, ABB 


ABB Accelerating Circularity Startup Challenge
Winner award – 
Collaboration project worth $30,000 


Closing the Loop:
Generating Value from Power Distribution End-of-Life

ABB Electrification has an installed base of around 17 million power protection systems and devices, from switchgear and circuit breakers to soft starters to uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. Beyond these devices, our customers also have a huge scope of closely related electrical and electromechanical products such as drives, motors, batteries and electric vehicle chargers.

With innovation and sustainability at our core, at ABB Electrification Service we recognize the opportunity to help customers with the ongoing need to address the end-of-life phase of the installed base. We want to partner with our customers to enable circularity and a focus on sustainability through responsible decommissioning, disposal and recycling of electrical equipment to achieve both safety and environmental outcomes.

The challenge

The current process for managing the decommissioning and end-of-life of electrical equipment, particularly in relation to finding suitable logistics, transportation and waste management partners, is complex, timely and costly.

We need a strategic business model that clearly maps out the end-of-life methodology, customer value proposition and go-to-market strategy, above and beyond our current service offering.


Critical to this business model is identifying the most appropriate businesses to partner with, across multiple countries, who can demonstrate the safe, sustainable and efficient management of disposing, refurbishing or recycling electrical equipment that abides by local country environmental regulations. The business model would define the “rules of engagement” between ABB, our customer and partners.


Partners would need to have expertise in plant and equipment disposal, PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) disposal, pollution prevention and control, and SF6 gas decommissioning and disposal, and provide certification as proof of managing the materials in line with local environmental standards and laws.


In addition, we are looking for the development of a user-friendly tool to enable the suggested business model for both customers and ABB Electrification Service.


The outcome

This challenge would extend Electrification Service’s end-of-life offering by closing the loop for the life of power distribution systems through a partnership model that delivers efficient and effective disposing, refurbishing or recycling services.

Further, by having easy access to certified logistics and waste management companies, we will be able to work closely with our customers to proactively plan a strategy for continuous end-of-life services in a cost efficient, safe and environmentally friendly way.


Importantly, ABB and our customers and partners would be positively contributing to a circular economy by minimizing waste, reducing carbon emissions and recycling for a greener world.

Application period is closed

Awards for the winner: 

  • $30,000 for a collaboration with ABB Electrification Service to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that can be productized and offered to ABB customers

  • 6 month free SynerLeap Special Membership, ABB's startup accelerator, which will boost your growth and visibility across ABB, our partners and customers (Value $10'000)

Collaborate with ABB experts

  • You will receive expert support from ABB during the 10 days of competition


Mateusz Zając
Sustainability Leader, ABB



Marco Tomasoni
Global Product Manager


Stefano Corti
Global Service Product Line Manager

ELSE Challenge

About ABB Electrification Service

ABB Electrification Service partners with customers to improve the availability, reliability, predictability and sustainability of electrical products and installations. With sustainability and innovation at our core, our technology and services help customers maximize energy efficiency and reduce costs and carbon emissions.

Our talented team of more than 3,000 service experts across 50 countries support utility, industrial, infrastructure and building customers to deliver new levels of operational efficiency to meet the energy challenges of today and tomorrow.

Through our digital solutions, supported by our advisory services, we deliver deeper insights for greater optimization, responsiveness and connectivity, ultimately helping our customers keep the power on 24/7 and minimize costly downtime.

Our extensive portfolio allows us to partner with customers to offer the best in product care, modernization and advisory services, from the point of energizing to end-of-life. We offer solutions for both low- and medium voltage networks that:

  • ensure continuous availability of assets and their operational efficiency 

  • safeguard the highest reliability of assets throughout their lifetime 

  • increase predictability of assets’ behavior to optimize and improve operations

  • maximize energy efficiency, reduce harmful CO2 emissions and improve carbon footprints

Watch the challenge video

ELSE Video Matthew




Let’s write the future. Together.
ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

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and scale through a global ecosystem of customers and partners. The focus is on building a long-term partnership with the startup, while ensuring that
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