The ITAD Report

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Conflict over EU sustainability legislation


EU attempts to pass stricter environmental laws have been hotly debated in 2018. Many environmental NGO’s are upset so little progress is made. The industry claims some of the proposed legislation is unrealistic.

Tech companies must be held accountable for profiteering from short product lifespans and a “throwaway” culture, NGO’s say. They also claim necessary environmental regulations are stalled on different levels, both by influential lobby groups and by countries with a weak commitment to stricter sustainability legislation. One such example is the “ecodesign” initiative from the European Commission that has met a lot of pushback. The basic idea with “ecodesign” is to reduce the amount of e-scrap by requiring consumer electronics to be easily disassembled and reassembled and force manufacturers to make replacement parts, instructions and tools available. Environmental NGOs are in favour of EU’s “ecodesign” programme but the industry see problems and several governments are set to reject the proposals.

Another area of conflict relates to the European Commission’s initiative to reduce the amount of POP’s in electronic and electrical products. Persistent organic pollutants (POP’s) are chemical substances that persist in the environment and pose a severe risk not only to the environment but to human health. IT equipment generally contains brominated flame retardants that, according to research, affects human DNA and hormones. The European Parliament recently voted in favour of a 100-fold reduction of the threshold for Deca-BDE, which is a frequently used brominated flame retardant in IT products. EERA, the European recycling industry’s organisation, has reacted strongly and says this threshold is unrealistic. If this vote would be converted into law, claims EERA, it would be the end of the recycling of E-waste plastics in the EU, approximately a volume of 1.2 million tonnes.

Environmentalists have created the hashtag #RightToRepair to push the demand for easily repairable IT products with a longer life span. Here’s a recent video.

Cloud trend increases demand for data sanitization


With the increased adoption of cloud services across the world, the need for secure elimination of data as well as the disposition of the rejected assets has been rising significantly. This growing demand is so strong that it affects the dynamics of the ITAD market, according to a new study from Transparency Market Research.

Data security has emerged as the greatest challenge for all enterprises. As a consequence, the demand for professional data sanitization is growing fast. This in addition to the fast growth of the global cloud computing market (more than 20 percent in 2018, according to Gartner) creates positive dynamics for ITAD operators with the skills to sanitize decomissioned server hardware.

Continued ITAD growth


The global IT asset disposition (ITAD) market will continue to grow in the next five years with a yearly average of 8.33%, according to a new report from Zion Market Research. Another report, from Index Market Research, estimates an ever stronger annual growth rate, 10.71%, in the coming five years.

Skanska’s refurbishing project saving 193 tonnes CO2 yearly


Construction company Skanska Sweden sends its old computers and other IT equipment to refurbishing. As much as 85-90 percent of the products get a second life.

“It feels good to know that our computers live on in schools and offices” says Johan Balck, Chief Information Security Officer at Skanska in Sweden.

Over the last years, Skanska Sweden has sent 8 000 IT products to refurbishing company Inrego every year. Inrego has deleted all data, refurbished the equipment and put it on the market, giving it a second life. This represents an environmental profit of 193 tonnes CO2, equivalent to heating 774 apartments or running 18 500 refrigerators for a year.

“Inrego helps us to lessen our environmental footprint and we are provided with regular updates on the CO2 saving being made”, says Johan Balck. “It’s sad that not more businesses refurbish their IT equipment. I think the reasons are partly ignorance, partly immaturity when it comes to questions of sustainability”.

An extra bonus for Skanska is that the second hand equipment generates a profit.

“Money is going back into the system and we invest them, among other things, in new technology”.

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