Where do electronics go when they die?
Why do we send them there?
Do all servers go to heaven?
We will answer these questions and more in this series covering the basic ideas of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD). Each post will introduce (or reintroduce) tech specialists to the afterlife of IT from ‘how to’ to ‘have to’. Know someone who needs a refresher? Send this their way and we’ll get them back on track.
Just because you’re legally required, and it’s the right thing to do, doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to start doing things the ITAD way. But maybe – just maybe – it’s in your best interest. Let’s put it in a social context.
The Benefits Boost the Economy
Back in 2009, the Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), released the results of their study on how environmental policy can benefit the economy. SERI concluded that the economy would benefit in 8 distinct ways:
- Enhances Productivity
- Stimulates Innovation
- Increases Employment (and/or the quality of Employment)
- Improves our Balance of Trade
- Strengthens our Capital Base
- Supports Public Finances
- Promotes Economic Cohesion
- Encourages the Transition to a Resilient and Sustainable Economy
Boosting the economy drives an upward spiral of good for you and those around you. And, if your company is seen implementing these changes, you can see a strong social and public relations boost as well.
The Benefits Measure Differently
Measuring the benefits associated with environmental sustainability requires a new way of thinking. In 2004, SustainAbility, Inc. developed a method called the Triple “E” Bottom Line framework – most have shortened this to TBL or triple bottom line accounting.
As we’ve mentioned before, triple bottom line accounting combined the benefits for the planet, profits, and people all in a single format that allows you to measure the full benefits that you derive from sustainability projects like proper ITAD implementation. These tools allow you to realize the social benefits received by improving people and creating genuine social equity with those you encounter.
The Benefits Boomerang Back
Have you heard of the Circular economy? This industrial design idea replaces the linear cradle-to-grave approach with a circular cradle-to-cradle process. Swiss architect, Walter R. Stahel originally coined the term “cradle-to-cradle” and is credited with introducing the idea of a circular economy with his 1976 report for the European Commission Potential for Substitution Manpower for Energy.
In it, Stahel outlined the process of taking virgin materials only one time and then recycling them back into the manufacturing process to be reused for new products over and over again.
By reusing these precious materials, companies can work together to streamline their manufacturing processes and save money as well as the environment.
The Benefits are Material
So you can see, not all motivations for implementing an environmentally friendly ITAD process are just about covering yourself and being a good resident of Planet Earth (although that helps). Your company can gain financially and socially by boosting the economy, implementing circular processes, and reporting all of the benefits with triple bottom line accounting.
Speaking of Circular Economy…
We (Apto Solutions, but you knew that already, right?) were just announced as a winner for The Circulars 2018 Awards, at the World Economic Forum, in The Young Global Leaders Award for Circular Economy category. We’re excited by this announcement, and we’re thankful to the Judging Panel for recognizing our innovative work with AptoPulse. If you haven’t yet, sign up for a demo and check it out.