The following article was provided by Cathy Hill, CEO, HOBI International.
Electronic waste and the dumping of IT assets is a worldwide concern. And while putting a stop to growing technology is impossible, there are ways to control how we manage our e-waste. The easiest method is to partner with an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) compliant service provider who specializes in the process of streamlining the disposition of IT assets.
In short, ITAD refers to the methodical process of removing retired and non-working IT equipment with the secure disposition of IT assets that are compliant with local, national and global environmental regulations. Given the rapid advancement of technology, secure and responsible ITAD has never been more critical than it is now, particularly at the enterprise IT level.
Company-owned IT assets containing proprietary and/or sensitive information are not always considered a high priority and may introduce significant security risks when devices are replaced. Think about it: Enterprise computers, smartphones and other IT equipment may be antiquated, but their memory never fades. Even devices such as printers that are not properly wiped or destroyed can give up sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, addresses, financial account numbers and confidential business information. This creates real risk, not just to an enterprise but to the customers and employees.
Working with an ITAD provider can alleviate the stress of managing older devices and create new opportunities for devices once they have reached the end of their use. While ITAD providers can make enterprise IT less of a burden, selecting an irresponsible provider can result in monetary and reputational damages. For this reason, it’s important for enterprises to investigate data management policies, documentation and end-of-life services when selecting a provider.
Checking the credentials of an ITAD company is an important consideration. It helps provide assurance that not only is a vendor knowledgeable but that they are able to ensure regulatory compliance. One respectable electronic waste recycling standards available for electronics recyclers is the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) R2 standard. Companies that choose an R2-certified ITAD provider guarantee verifiable implementations of safety and environmental compliance. The standard also takes measures to ensure the control and processing of e-waste according to EPA standards and is embraced around the world. Additionally, R2-certified business must also be ISO 14001 certifed, an international environmental management system. Therefore, it is vital to partner with an established, certified company with a global reach who will work diligently with your IT department and in line with your company’s environmental ethos.
By choosing a certified ITAD provider, enterprises can benefit from efficient and compliant IT asset disposition that ensures the overall process is accomplished in a seamless manner to minimize the cost of logistics. SERI’s R2 Standard embraces the concept of the circular economy, a cutting edge economic approach that focuses on reuse and resource management over “e-waste” management. By embracing the concept of the circular economy and focusing on reuse, enterprises can create new opportunities.
In fact, reuse is considered the highest form of recycling as it lessens energy requirements associated with dismantling and remanufacturing products. In this sense, ITAD solutions facilitate resource recovery. Instead of having to mine new mineral and metals from the earth, materials are saved for further use and diverted away from landfills. This allows for ITAD providers to maximize the value of your assets. A proper ITAD program allows enterprises to recoup some of the costs involved in upgrading IT systems or covers a portion of all costs involved in disposing of old IT systems by determining the appropriate secondary sales channel to place IT equipment in order to generate the highest ROI.
Not only do ITAD solutions help achieve a circular economy, but it also aims to protect the environment and creates more sustainable communities. Now more than ever, it is of critical importance that every business is conscious of the effect their business strategy may have on the global community.