Insight

Channel plays its part for Earth Day

Today (Friday) is Earth Day, and we’ve been hearing about some of the initiatives that channel firms are undertaking to help the planet.

One example is circular IT provider Stone Group, which says that more than half a million items of unwanted tech hardware have been saved from landfill thanks to its Stone 360 app. Created to help organisations arrange the responsible disposal of their unwanted IT assets, the app has been downloaded by 11,000 businesses across the UK to help them responsibly dispose of their old or broken IT.

Any used hardware including monitors, laptops, desktops, printers, and servers that can’t be refurbished are broken down to their core components and recycled, ensuring nothing ends up in landfill. Due to the success of the app, from April, Stone says its IT asset disposal (ITAD) facility will operate 24x7 to keep up with demand for its recycling services.

In 2020, the UK government announced that when disposing of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), organisations must classify items that contain hazardous substances or persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Researchers estimate that the amount of WEEE discarded last year will weigh more than 57 million tonnes – heavier than the Great Wall of China. Most electronic items contain some form of toxic material such as Chromium, Lead or Zinc, and when it ends up in landfill, it can seep into the environment infesting soil and water, contaminating wildlife, livestock, and crops. Many of these unwanted items also contain precious metals including copper, iron, gold, silver, and platinum much of which is dumped rather than recycled.

Stone Group says it will soon be launching the second iteration of the Stone 360 app, which will help users classify any items that contain harmful substances and identify those that can be successfully refurbished.

Repair, Rework, Reuse

Another shocking statistic: businesses and households produce 1.45 million tonnes of e-waste each year in the UK alone and un-recycled electricals cost the nation over £370 million a year in lost materials.

Demonstrating that partnerships don’t have to be confined to the office, Agilitas IT Solutions recently joined forces with IT services specialist Highgate at Broxtowe Country Park, Nottingham, to take part in a litter picking session.

Agilitas says it is committed to supporting the channel with solutions that Repair, Rework, Reuse to extend the life cycle of technology products and exceed targets for a more sustainable future.

The company has also dedicated to providing a sustainable and digitised supply chain to ensure devices are repaired in order to reduce single-use tech. This allows its channel partners and their customers to significantly reduce carbon footprints and work towards the nation’s crucial ambitions for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Tech Data also contends that the channel needs to play a role in collecting and recycling their customers’ unwanted endpoint devices. It says there is a clear opportunity for channel partners to provide their customers with services to improve environmental sustainability.

The distributor says its services like Tech Data Renew allow for a trade-in process by providing complete data erasure and giving devices a new lease of life through the reselling process while working with customers.

It’s good to hear about these initiatives, and the technology that’s being developed to support sustainability. We are certainly hearing more of these stories, more regularly. It is a sign of the growing awareness of the impact of our actions on environment, and how sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have for the channel.

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