30 Jan Sustainably Reusing IT Equipment
What does your company do with old IT equipment when it’s reached the end of its life? Whether it still works or not, there will come a time when you need to upgrade, to replace, or simply to stop using something. Do you throw it away? Put it in the corner or a cupboard somewhere to gather dust? Donate it to charity, hoping they can make use of a 5 year old PC?
The truth is that we are living in an era of green computing, so the days of buy, use and dispose are well and truly over. Now, businesses need to move towards a more sustainable way of working, particularly around something as materials-intense as IT. This means putting plans in place, and working with partners, to ensure effective recovery, reuse and retirement of your assets. To make it easy to remember, there are the 4 R’s for sustainable IT strategy:
The first thing to consider with old IT equipment is whether or not it can be refurbished. This means it can be spruced up, minor damage or faults can be repaired and it can still be used as a serviceable piece of equipment. If this is the case, then refurbishing your old equipment can actually prolong its life significantly and save you money at the same time. There are a lot of services out there that can refurbish IT equipment for you, which you can then keep using or sell on to fund your next purchase. Either way, you are significantly reducing the amount of electronic product being treated as waste, which is energy intensive and often unnecessary.
Ok, so the equipment you’re holding might not be good enough for its primary purpose – but could it be useful for something else? The purpose of sustainable IT is to reduce waste and to get as much value out of your equipment as possible. So maybe the monitor for a computer is broken beyond repair (or would cost too much to repair) – but the power cord for it might still be usable. You could use it as a spare, hook it up to another monitor or sell it on to a parts vendor. Reusing equipment in any way you can might seem like a small step, but it can make a big impact.
Recycling tends to mean something slightly different in IT terms than in regular life. After all, there is no recycling bin for you to dump all of your old electronics in, to be picked up, sorted through and made into new things. Instead, you need to seek these services out yourself. Recycling IT equipment can save a huge amount of energy and significantly reduce the harmful toxins released into the environment, not to mention bringing the general cost of technology down for businesses. Where you no longer have any use for a piece of equipment, try sending it to a specialist who can strip it down and recycle the components, often containing precious earth minerals
This one is a little different, but bear with us. As with any business activity, you want to make sure it’s beneficial to your business, as well as the environment. When you’re getting rid of things, that might seem counterintuitive, but it can be done. If you work with a partner who can erase any company date, refurbish and recycle your equipment, and sell it on, then a percentage of that sale value can come back to you and your business. This means that you actually stand to gain financially from recycling equipment, and doing it safely means you won’t be putting anyone’s data at risk.
That’s how we work at Charterhouse Muller. We take in your old, unwanted or damaged computing equipment, completely clear them of data using secure and certified software, and then anything suitable will be refurbished and sold on. We then pass a percentage of that sale back to you, as an incentive to keep up the green IT cycle. If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.