29 Jan Creating A Sustainable Data Destruction Policy For 2020
As we enter a new year and a new decade, there is one big issue that’s one everyone’s minds right now. Sustainability. Climate change. And what we as both individuals and business owners can do to reduce our impact and improve the world we live in. As the pressure mounts on businesses to adopt sustainable practices, you might be trying to work out what changes to make for the new year. Well, we have a suggestion for you – something that will benefit both the planet, your reputation and your bottom line. Design and implement a sustainable data destruction policy.
What Is A Data Destruction Policy?
Put simply, a data destruction policy is the way in which your business disposes of data when it is no longer needed. It very much does what it says on the tin, and now that GDPR is here it’s a requirement for all businesses who are processing personal data for anyone. But more than just making sure you delete data when you’re done with it, a data destruction policy also ensures that retired devices and media have their contents securely removed, destroyed or overwritten, so that impossible to later retrieve it. This affects anything capable of holding data, including:
- Computers and laptops
- Servers and large storage devices
- Mobile phones
- Hard drives
- Flash memory devices
- CDs, DVDs and other tape storage devices
Just discarding retired desktop computers and laptops without securely destroying their data means they likely harvest a gold mine of personal information and confidential company data – and simply pressing delete isn’t enough to get rid of that information. So a data destruction policy is crucial for businesses across the UK.
But as we see the climate change movement rising, more and more businesses are becoming conscious of how their actions could impact the environment. So now you are faced with the challenge of not only disposing of your data in a safe and secure way, but making sure you do it sustainably too.
How Can I Make It Sustainable?
When it comes to sustainable data destruction practices the term can seem a little misleading, since it’s not really about the data itself. Instead its about the devices that data is held on, what you do to ensure all residual data is removed, and what you do with the devices afterwards. Because the truth is that most of the devices we see being discarded are not broken or unusable at all – they have just been upgraded for a newer, more powerful model. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it does mean you need to give some consideration to the next phase of the device’s life, and how you can reduce the need for more natural materials to be used in the production process of new devices.
In order to reduce your impact on the environment, there are 3 things you can do with your old devices.
Reuse: If the device itself isn’t faulty in any way and still does its job, could you reuse it somewhere else in the business? With a little refurbishment, an old device can perform like new. given them to new employees to use, test machines, storage devices, backups – even use a phone as a security camera – there are so many ways you can reuse old technology in your business, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint.
Resell: If you can’t think of a way your business could benefit from keeping the device, you could always sell it to someone who could use it. This requires professional level data cleansing to ensure none of your sensitive data is left on the device. At Charterhouse Muller, we can also help you with selling the devices on, so it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
Recycle: If all else fails, ensuring you dispose of your waste electronics properly means they can be recycled into new devices and products. For this don’t just use your local recycling bins – find a WEEE certified disposal business to help you recycle your devices properly.
At Charterhouse Muller we work with businesses across the country to help them create a sustainable and secure data destruction policy for their business, and we would love to help you too. We prioritise refurbishment, reuse and recycling of all forms of IT and computer equipment, above just disposing of it, which makes us the perfect partner for your business sustainability strategy in 2020. Our experts can help with the reuse, recycling, recovery and even disposal of old technology, so that all you need to worry about is preventing the waste in the first place. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today for more information.