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E-waste management and the value of continued options

As we approach the New Year, many institutions have begun re-evaluating their environmental footprint. The desire for change and improvement is heightened during resolution season, and a recent look at the world’s waste of electronics paints a disturbing picture. The StEP Initiative recently released an interactive e-waste map that shows the amount of electronic waste being created across the globe, by nation.

The map goes a step further than merely showing which countries produce the most e-waste. StEP Initiative gives a detailed breakdown of exactly how much waste each nation produces in metric tons and kilotons (for reference, 1 kiloton = 2 million pounds or just under 907,185 kilograms), that nation’s population, and that nation’s purchasing power.

While this may seem like a lot of finger pointing, the map also highlights which nations and states have policies in place that have been enacted to help combat the amount of e-waste that is produced. This highlights that there are areas that are trying to do their part to reduce the world’s waste of electronic devices.

For businesses and individuals alike, the statistics are staggering. According to the data collected by the StEP Initiative, the yearly volume of discarded electronics across the world is due to jump 33% by 2017, to a total of 65.4 million tons. These numbers may just be the wake-up call that many institutions need.

But reducing e-waste is not so far out of our reach. In fact, many businesses have constructed programs to decrease waste on a corporate level. IT Xchange’s Options Continuations Program for IBM OCP and Lenovo OCP hardware gives businesses an environmentally friendly alternative to replacing old hardware. Many times when hardware is discarded, it’s not due to the machine breaking down. More often than not, devices are replaced in the corporate world simply because a newer model has been released.

Imagine for a moment just how much e-waste would come from your office if everyone’s laptops were replaced with a newer “faster” model every other year. Now, multiply that by the millions of businesses with similar hardware requirements as yours. The amount of perfectly good devices that get replaced due simply to being n-1 models is startling.

Maintaining existing equipment by upgrading parts and options that are no longer marketed by the manufacturer is an inexpensive and much more environmentally sound alternative to replacing and buying new equipment. Is your business prepared to make a smaller electronic footprint?

For more information about StEP Initiative, visit them online: http://www.step-initiative.org/