Ecolabels and data sanitisation key to recycling and reusing IT assets
The need to provide remote workers with replacement technology caused a massive spike in demand for equipment, according to Fredrik Forslund, director of the International Data Sanitisation Consortium (IDSC). “All second-hand gear sold out, the whole industry globally saw every inventory selling out, and the demand was sky high and could not be met by the second-hand market or the first-hand market” he says, adding that the flood of replacement hardware means there is going to be “an enormous amount of infrastructure” that will need to be recycled or re-used.
To safely redeploy equipment, enterprises must first ensure that all data held on the device is irrevocably wiped. For recycling specifically, organisations also need to know what materials are in the device so that it can be approached safely, as many rare earth metals used in electronics can produce toxic waste if not dealt with correctly. One solution that has been on the rise is “ecolabels” which, similar to how ingredients are listed on food packaging, lets enterprises know exactly what materials their equipment contains.
“We know exactly what’s inside of food because that has been in demand in the market for a long time,” says Forslund. “But the same thing is starting to be visible in the IT industry where you have to show that: ‘This product contains the following materials, we stand behind the following production processes, we have been thinking about recycling and next steps, and we know this system can be sanitised and reused.’”
He adds that, on a consumer level, “we have started demanding organic and correctly produced foods [from the food industry], and I think you’ll see the same pattern in everything that we’re consuming – it’s happening in the fashion industry and it’s starting to evolve in the IT industry.”
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Insights from Inrego’s CEO Christoffer Sandell:
As the article states that the demand spike was enormous, probably we are already seeing this as the prices on re-used is diving down to the normal levels, as we had before entering the pandemic. Which creates a difficult global ITAD market. Many companies selling re-used to end users are struggling with having stocks with too high prices, which forces the ITAD industry to quickly sell out their stocks right now.
Image source: Computerweekly