DataCenterNews Asia logo
Specialist data center news for Asia
Story image

Golden opportunities for enterprise e-waste reduction

By Contributor
Mon 10 Dec 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Park Place Technologies EMEA managing director Evan Kenty

It’s the season of giving, and the issue of electronic waste, known as e-waste, is attracting renewed media attention.

Even as customers vie for the latest mobile phones, tablets, televisions, and gaming systems—most of which have been carefully engineered not to be repairable or upgradable—businesses cannot be given a free pass on their substantial contributions to the e-waste problem.

The global volume of e-waste may already exceed 50 million tonnes, with the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland comprising about 23 percent of the total. Increasing awareness about the environmental consequences, and also the valuable materials hiding in all of this trash, is spurring enhancements in many enterprises’ approach to technology asset management and disposal.

Greater focus on e-waste collection and recycling

Consider that in 2016, 435,000 tonnes of phones containing £8.3bn worth of raw materials were simply discarded. The availability of essentially free – if difficult to extract – components and resources is compelling market interest in e-waste recycling services, along with regulatory efforts to promote the practice.

A revised EU Waste & Electronic Equipment directive requiring recycling or collection of 85 percent of all wasted electronics is expected to take effect in 2019. Although the U.K may not be a member state by that time, the country has already set its own, nonbinding, targets on e-waste.

Residents and businesses are falling behind, however. Indications are that we will miss the mark of over 537,000 tonnes of e-waste turned over to recycling this year, making it clear that more concerted efforts will be required to achieve e-waste objectives.

Businesses can play a role as responsible corporate citizens by attending to proper technology asset management, keeping in mind the age-old environmental dictate to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Reduce disposal demands by extending hardware lifespans and reusing equipment

Reducing the volume of equipment destined for disposal is a critical first step and can be achieved through careful evaluation of the hardware lifecycle. Selecting quality products, redeploying systems to non-mission critical functions as they age, investigating strategic upgrade tactics, and identifying options for long-term support can help deliver the greatest possible lifespans.

This will not only reduce asset-disposal headaches but also hardware acquisition costs.

Planned obsolescence is rampant in consumer products, such as the sealed iPhone with its non-user replaceable battery. Fortunately, this is less so with data center assets, which most customers expect to be relatively upgradeable and repairable. Manufacturers, however, continue to leverage various strategies for encouraging customers to shorten replacement cycles as a means to increase sales.

Despite mountains of experience contradicting the three- to five-year maximum lifespan, for instance, it is still widely promoted as the full, safe operating period for IT gear. Similarly, end-of-support-life dates are used to define product obsolescence on behalf of customers, regardless of their actual use of the equipment.

Technology professionals would be wise to resist manufacturers and devise their own lifecycle management approach which is based on actual service life witnessed in the environment. This would be a means to achieve their environmental and budgetary goals.

Why recycle non-viable data center assets

The best efforts at repurposing technology gear notwithstanding, non-functioning and obsolete assets will need to be decommissioned and the components recycled or safely disposed of. The European Commission’s Waste Electronic Equipment – Environment (WEEE) regulation provides guidance on the subject.

This is critical, because today’s technology products incorporate a veritable witch’s brew of toxic materials. These include lead, mercury, chromium, cadmium, polyvinyl chlorides in wire coatings, sulfuric acid in many batteries, brominated flame retardants, and a host of other dangerous substances and ones associated with a range of health problems. Without proper disposal, such substances can contaminate soil, water and air, and also infect the food chain.

For those in need of more environmental impetus to pursue proper recycling, there are also the retrievable resources to consider. Circuit boards contain more gold and copper than mined ore, so recapturing and reusing the material can reduce extraction and the associated impacts.

Outsourcing is an option

Given that asset disposition is a niche specialty and a non-core function for most enterprises, many companies find that outsourcing the task offers significant advantages.

These include greater expertise, access to recycling and resale options, and verified compliance with environmental and data security requirements and domestic and international standards, such as GDPR. For example, a reputable asset disposal vendor will supply a certificate of data erasure and destruction, which provides the company with documentation of their responsible handling of confidential information.

The value in functioning equipment and components, as well as the rare metals used in technology products, provides revenue streams for asset disposition companies.

This can enable very reasonable pricing, but it’s important to note that proper disposal is not free. Full-service providers will handle the process from on-site removal of the hardware through data erasure and equipment redeployment or recycling, but it’s vital to plan for the disposal costs so that they are not an unfunded afterthought.

Driving industry change

Enterprise technology departments should not overlook their power to drive the change that the world needs. By buying products from companies with a dedication to sustainable design, the industry can transform the broader market.

At present, adding repair and recyclability criteria to system requirements may limit choice to some degree. However, as many prominent hardware manufacturers recognise the reputational advantages of leading on sustainability, a wider range of “green” products and manufacturer-driven recycling initiatives should emerge. Already, Dell is piloting initiatives to capture nearly all the gold used in motherboards, and one can expect similar programmes to be introduced.

Leaning on technology manufacturers to embrace a more environmentally responsible approach, eschewing planned obsolescence and taking into account component reusability and ease of recycling, will ultimately be worth the effort by enterprise technology acquisition specialists who will need to refine their vetting and bidding processes.

But who knows – maybe the globe’s many corporations investing in devices for millions of workers can have an impact on consumer electronics as well.

About Park Place Technologies

Park Place Technologies is one of the world’s fastest-growing companies to provide an alternative to post-warranty storage, server and networking hardware maintenance for IT data centers. Their IT Asset Disposition and Lifecycle Services help companies to properly decommission their assets securely and responsibly. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Macquarie Data Centres
Macquarie deal to pioneer CO2-cutting data centre tech in Australia
Macquarie Data Centres has signed a multi-year deal with ResetData, an Australian first provider using Submer data centre technology. 
Story image
Migration
SNP unveils next generation of CrystalBridge software platform
Data is a key pillar of every customer-centric organisation, as it relies on agile decisions to become increasingly sustainable and intelligent.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Healthcare
SnapLogic launches Accelerator for Amazon HealthLake
SnapLogic has launched Accelerator to allow healthcare and life sciences organisations to turn raw data into healthcare-related insights and actions.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Sustainability
Daikin and SP Group to build new energy efficient district cooling system
The project, set to be complete by 2025, will create a system with a cooling capacity of up to 36,000 refrigerant tonnes (RT). 
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cisco unveils new cloud-managed networking offerings
Cisco has announced new cloud management capabilities that offer a unified experience across the Cisco Meraki, Cisco Catalyst and Cisco Nexus portfolios.
Story image
Sydney
Equinix and PGIM Real Estate open data centre in Sydney
Equinix and PGIM Real Estate, the real estate investment and financing arm of PGIM, have announced the first xScale data centre in Sydney, named SY9x.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Expansion
Colt Technology expands into South Korea data center market
Colt Technology Services has expanded its network into the South Korean market, offering the country’s businesses cost-effective, low latency connectivity.
Story image
Cloud
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Data Science
Neo4j announces service delivery alliance with Deloitte
Neo4j has announced a service delivery alliance with Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia for a range of services to customers within the region.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Partnerships
Thailand announces launch of the Thailand 5G Alliance
It will promote collaboration between the public and private sector, through companies such as Huawei, to commercially drive Thailand's 5G development.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Micro Focus unveils Data Center Automation for SaaS delivery
MicroFocus has released Data Center Automation (DCA) for software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery, offering more cost-effective vulnerability risk and IT compliance management.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Qualtrics goes live on AWS Cloud Infrastructure in Japan
Organisations across Japan will now be able to access the Qualtrics XM/OS platform locally via data centre in the AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo) region.
Story image
Sustainability
Intel unveils new investments for data center sustainability
Intel has announced two new investments, continuing its efforts to create more sustainable data center technology.
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Secureworks researches new threat to Elasticsearch databases
Researchers from Secureworks' Counter Threat Unit have identified indexes of multiple internet-facing Elasticsearch databases replaced with a ransom note.
Story image
Cloud
Vertiv introduces line of redundant power transfer switches
Vertiv has introduced Vertiv Geist Rack Transfer Switch (RTS), a new line of transfer switches that provides redundant power to single-corded devices.
Story image
Vietnam
Viettel IDC deploys Cloudian Hyperstore object storage for enhanced cloud solutions
Cloudian has announced that its Hyperstore object storage has been deployed by Vietnam telco Viettel IDC, citing the technology’s flexibility, multi-tenancy and ransomware protection as significant advantages.
Story image
Cloud
QuSecure partners with DataBridge Sites to showcase platform
QuSecure has partnered with DataBridge Sites to showcase its Quantum-as-a-Service (QaaS) orchestration platform, QuProtect.
Story image
Colocation
Digital Edge chooses Nortek’s StatePoint for new data center
Digital Edge will use Nortek's StatePoint liquid cooling technology in its new data center, the first commercial colocation operator in Asia to do so.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Databricks announces new offering for Unity Catalog
Databricks has significantly expanded data governance capabilities on the lakehouse by unveiling data lineage for Unity Catalog.
Story image
Cloud
Boomi surpasses 20,000 customers. Sets record for the iPaaS space
Boomi has announced it has surpassed the 20,000 customer mark, setting the record for the largest customer base among iPaaS vendors.
Story image
Sustainability
AirTrunk boosts Japan presence with West Tokyo data center
AirTrunk is planning to build TOK2, a new hyperscale data center in Japan which will strengthen the company’s presence in the country.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky opens three new centers to boost data management
Cybersecurity company Kaspersky has opened three new Transparency Centers, one in Japan, the second in Singapore and the third in the United States.
Story image
Cloud
SnapLogic improves Intelligent Integration Platform
SnapLogic has released new features and improvements to its Intelligent Integration Platform, which will allow IT, data and business teams to make select processes faster and more straightforward.
Story image
Infrastructure
New Uptime analysis highlights worsening downtime costs and consequences
New data from Uptime Institute has found that downtime costs and consequences are worsening as those involved in data infrastructure fail to find ways to curb outages.
Story image
Sustainability
Evolution Data Centres reveals target of 20 tonnes of CO2 per GWh
Evolution Data Centres launches their new Sustainable Data Centre Charter, which includes targets like only 20 tonnes of carbon emissions per GWh by 2030.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Infrastructure
SolarWinds IT Trends Report highlights increased cloud complexity for businesses
SolarWinds' new IT Trends report has signalled a significant shift in the way businesses are dealing with hybrid cloud and infrastructure.
Story image
Broadband
Singapore found to have the speediest internet rates in the world
New research from BanklessTimes has shown that Singapore has the highest recorded median internet speed in the world at 207.61 MBPS.
Story image
Cloud
Cisco Live showcases new offerings in its first hybrid event
Cisco Live 2022 has seen Cisco executives and customers take the stage to present a range of discussions in the company’s first-ever hybrid event.
Story image
Infosys
Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies
For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world.
Story image
CASB
Juniper expands SASE offering with data loss prevention capabilities
Juniper has announced the expansion of its SASE offering with the addition of cloud access security broker (CASB) and data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities.
Story image
Infrastructure
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."
Story image
Sustainability
Huawei unveils next-generation sustainable data centers
Huawei says its next-generation data centers will be powered by PowerPOD 3.0, which reduces the footprint by 40% and cuts the energy consumption by 70%.
Story image
Infrastructure
Global investment in data centers more than doubled in 2021
DLA Piper's latest global survey finds the total investment in data center infrastructure worldwide rose from USD $24.4 billion in 2020 to USD $53.8 billion in 2021.