Combatting the Tsunami of e-Waste
Back in the 1980’s, there was a focused effort to stop the environmental impact of pollution caused by litter and other harmful pollutants damaging our air quality and water. The public service announcement proclaimed: “People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It.” Little did we know then how relevant this slogan would be for the massive volume of e-waste now damaging our environment.
The UN is calling it the “Tsunami of E-Waste”. It’s the world’s fasted growing waste stream and is becoming a significant global environmental issue. Whether piled in the landfill or incinerated, improperly processed e-waste causes significant health risks to humans, as well as the environment around use, as dangerous toxins are released.
Consider that, according to Statista, 54 million metric tons (Mt) of e-waste was produced worldwide in 2019. To provide a sense of scale, 50 Mt is equivalent to 4,500 Eiffel towers – enough to cover an area the size or Manhattan (Global E-waste Monitor,2020). Small IT and telecommunications equipment make up 9% of the total amount of e-waste produced. Screen and monitor devices which include laptops make up 12% of all e-waste produced. The rest of e-waste produced is made up of large appliances such as air-conditioning units and washing machines, and small equipment such as cameras and toasters.
“While e-waste is a huge problem that spans multiple industries and complex products, businesses can do their part by incorporating circular economy solutions into their IT strategy,” says Brent Smiley, VP ITAD programs of Green4Good.
Less than 20% of global e-waste is responsibly managed. Irresponsibly managed e-waste is often shipped overseas where they are likely dumped, traded, or processed in an unregulated way contributing to environmental and health issues. The amount of e-waste produced per person in the US was 19.4kg in 2016. This number is likely higher in 2021 as devices are designed to be obsolete while we continue to increase the number of technology-based devices we have. In all, our end user computing impact on e-waste is significant… and IGEL is looking to help change that.
IGEL for a Cleaner, Greener World
Yes, there’s no denying that e-waste is an unavoidable byproduct of technology innovation. As organizations embrace new technology in pursuit of increased productivity, e-waste will result. But IGEL believes that with proper focus and diligence this e-waste can be reduced.
This is exactly why we’ve engaged with Green4Good. Green4Good helps organizations securely and responsibly dispose of their IT assets by converting assets into social good and environmental action. To date, they’ve diverted more than 1,800,000 IT assets from landfills through leveraging a reuse model that gives devices a second life.
Green4Good also helps organizations get closer to reaching their carbon reduction goals. The program is the first in the world to generate verified carbon credits through the refurbishment and resale of corporate IT assets.
It’s the perfect recipe for circular End-of-First-Life™ Technology management that can have a significant positive effect for our environment.
In addition to partnering with Green4Good, IGEL further supports a cleaner, greener world by doing the following:
- Extending the PC Lifespan. IGEL OS extends the life of existing end user computing equipment by three to five years. By converting aging systems with IGEL OS, they become efficient cloud workspaces without investing in new systems – reducing the environmental impact of producing new devices while reducing e-waste through extending system life.
- Lowering Power Consumption. IGEL-powered endpoints consume less power. By connecting to the cloud for processing the endpoint is much more power-efficient, further reducing environmental drain.
- Enabling Remote Work. IGEL powers the new agile work movement, where users can work from anywhere they want. This simplifies and secures working from home so end users can reduce their carbon footprint by minimizing travel days into the office.
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The Green4Good program is an effective way to solve end-of-life IT asset disposition challenges, while donating cash and new technology to charity. To date, the program has raised over $3.3 million dollars and is supporting over 195 different charitable organizations from around the world.
When hardware is contributed to the Green4Good program – 90% of collected technology is securely remarketed for reuse while the remainder is responsibly recycled. That’s right, none of it goes into the landfill. Green4Good focuses on reuse first as it produces less waste and pollution when compared to recycling. And when you trade-in your unused hardware and equipment you can earn cash and carbon credits for end-of-life assets with the unique ability to offset your new purchases of IT equipment and make them carbon neutral.
Join us for a special Earth Day Webinar to learn more. Register today for the Combat the Tsunami of e-Waste with IGEL & Green4Good webinar on April 22 at 12 p.m. ET to join us in the fight against e-waste.