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ITAD & Meeting Your Data Center Sustainability Goals

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March 28, 2018

 

Whether you are riding the wave of the green data center or just looking to keep your enterprise IT standards high, sustainability is a hot topic right now. A commitment to data center sustainability includes daily operations, naturally. Beyond that, take a look at your partners. ITAD offers an often-overlooked area to make sustainability upgrades.

ITAD and data center sustainability: What should you be looking for?

In a quick search for data center ITAD options, you will see that industry certifications are touted on every ITAD provider’s website. And they do reflect an investment in industry best practices. But what is the philosophy behind them?

Here’s a deep dive into one major certification and why it pays to embrace the principle of data center sustainability through the circular economy.

Sustainability and the circular economy

The R2 standard promotes the concept of circular economy. This means embracing any practice that will retain the maximum value of products throughout their lifecycle.

When you upgrade your data center equipment, there are a variety of possible outcomes for your used gear. Not all of the outcomes are equally beneficial — environmentally or economically. Here’s a breakdown of disposal options and the results.

Discarded in trash or landfill

Any reuse or resale value your used IT gear had is now gone. You’re risking fines and penalties for improper disposal. You’re contributing to dangerous human health and environmental conditions. This option is clearly not a winner.

Out of sight, out of mind

This option might be surprisingly tempting if you’re running an enterprise IT operation — but it’s almost as bad as tossing used gear. The value of your gear will decline precipitously over time. Improperly stored, old gear may create a security risk if it isn’t properly wiped or secured.

Recycled, shredded, processed

Now we are talking. Isn’t this what is supposed to happen if you’re a responsible IT manager? The reality is, you don’t need to shred old HDDs and SSDs to make sure your data is secure. A secure wiping process is completely sufficient.

With recycling, you may recover some marginal value. But reuse presents a much greater value proposition. Recycling also takes energy and resources, making it less environmentally beneficial.

Component harvesting

Here you may recover more value than recycling. But even if it’s possible to harvest components, the cost of the extra work adds up and will net you less than reuse.

Repair and reuse

With prompt resale, you are poised to get the maximum value out of your used data center equipment. Timing is everything, though. Resale moves fast. You’ll need an up-front hardware asset management plan and an ITAD partner that can connect you to ideal markets worldwide. The circular economy promotes reuse over all other options.

Data center sustainability and growth

If the circular economy is not something your organization has considered, now is the time. Partnering with an ITAD provider who promotes secure worldwide resale will accelerate your place in the future of data center sustainability. Massive or enterprise, your data center will benefit from an ITAD partner committed to implementing the principles of circular economy.

Reject the take-make-dump cycle that plagues electronics manufacturing worldwide. There are huge gains in staying ahead of the curve and reselling your used IT assets on the global market. Don’t miss out.

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