24 Jun Ways Your Business Can Reduce E-Waste
It’s fair to say that modern businesses couldn’t really exist without technology. Even the least tech-heavy industries rely on some form of computing or technology to help them – even if it’s just a few laptops and a printer. But as the demands on businesses increase, so do their electronic needs. So it’s no surprise that businesses are constantly on the lookout for the newest, fastest and smartest technology, capable of easily handling their busy day-to-day workload and making life a little easier. But with all those new advancements comes a lot of waste. Old devices are retired, and not a thought is given to where they end up and the damage they do. But with businesses responsible for the vast majority of e-waste, the question really is, what can you do to reduce your waste footprint?
Do Your Research
The best way for any business (or individual for that matter) to avoid creating e-waste is actually to be smart about their purchases in the first place. Instead of focussing solely on end of life, its worth looking at the IT lifecycle as a whole, starting with what you buy. Rather than looking for the least expensive option out there, try to spend some time finding out what the best option will be for your business, both now and in the future. Dedicating time to doing research, reading reviews and talking to IT professionals can not only save you money and reduce your waste, but you could find your business runs much more efficiently as a result of having technology solutions that really fit your needs.
Repair or Upgrade
When it comes to electronics, older doesn’t always mean obsolete. There are many instances where a piece of technology can easily be repaired or even upgraded with a bit of know how and a few minor changes. So have your IT department look over that old printer, and they will be able to tell you if it’s ready to be put out to pasture or if it just needs some simple improvements. Adding extra memory, hard drives or even software upgrades can make older technology feel newer and work more efficiently, so it’s important to bear this in mind when deciding if you really need to buy a new piece of equipment.
When your office electronics have truly reached the end of their road, remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And while you might not see the value in your old computers, others might welcome them with open arms. So it might be wise to look into selling them on, and making a bit of your money back for the business. Be warned though, if you want to take this approach, you need to make sure your data has been thoroughly and completely erased from the device before it leaves your office, and unless you have specialised equipment and programmes to do this, you will need to hire a specialist, like us.
Donate or Recycle
Sometimes it’s just impossible for you to ride an electronic right into the ground, and you need to replace it before the end of its life. In this situation, your best options are either to donate it, or recycle it. Donating a still useful but outdated item is a great way to reduce e-waste, and can even make your accounts department very happy. This is because there are certain tax deductions you can get by donating electronics. It can also improve your company image by providing electronics to charities or people in need.
Recycling is a great option too, as it allows the device to be broken down into component parts to be used in new electronics, reducing the impact on the environment. The key to recycling is to make sure it’s done safely, and none of your company data is put at risk at any point.
Use the Cloud
Ironically, one of the biggest solutions to the quick-churn of tech in businesses might be to utilise more of it, but in a different way. For example, there is very little need for small or medium sized businesses in 99% of industries to have their own servers on site, or the physical machinery needed to store their data. These hardware-heavy jobs can be outsourced, either to the Cloud, or to a dedicated data centre – neither of which require any hardware to be bought by the end user. Instead, your business can take advantage of pre-existing hardware (that is likely to be more sophisticated than what you are currently using), which will cut down on the amount bought and ultimately slow the e-waste cycle in your business right down.
At Charterhouse Muller, we do our part by helping other businesses reduce, re-use, recycle and recover their business IT and data through our data cleansing, data destruction and hardware refurbishment services. We even pass a portion of the profits from any refurbished equipment we sell back to you, so your business can benefit from recycling equipment in more ways than one! If you would like to know more, just get in touch with us today.