Used enterprise assets—computers, servers, hard drives, mobile phones and more—make up a substantial portion of the millions of tons of e-waste produced globally every year.
Unfortunately, much of this enterprise e-waste is discarded improperly, putting both the environment and sensitive data at risk. This is despite the increase in corporate social responsibility initiatives and the availability of non-destructive data sanitization methods that return used assets into the circular economy.
That means many organizations miss the opportunity to get more value out of their IT investment by sanitizing and reusing their technology assets. Instead, enterprises often resort to premature physical destruction of perfectly usable data storage devices.
Organizations can confidently balance data security and environmental impact. Securely erasing enterprise e-waste ensures that all sensitive data has been removed from data storage media (loose drives, PCs, servers, mobile phones and more), opening the door for reuse, recycling, resale, donation or lease return.
Data Erasure’s Role in the Circular Economy: Shifting End-of-Life IT from Hazardous Disposal to Secure Reuse
Increased volumes and planned obsolescence are fueling global e-waste growth: According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), as much as 50 million metric tons of e-waste is produced globally each year. Of this, 80%, or 40 million metric tons, goes to landfills, is burned or is illegally traded and improperly treated. By 2050, the amount of e-waste could more than double to 100 million metric tons.
The WEF estimates that about half of today’s e-waste is made up of computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs and other such devices. But a Blancco-commissioned survey of nearly 2,000 of the world’s largest enterprises revealed that less than 25% of global enterprise end-of-life IT—mobile devices, laptops and desktops, servers, loose drives and more—is recycled.
Based on data from international organizations, news media and independent research by Coleman Parkes on behalf of Blancco, our circular economy infographic illustrates the drawbacks to discarding usable devices. It also explores a secure alternative to hazardous e-waste disposal and the physical destruction of IT assets—an alternative that enables organization to enhance their CSR policies by fueling the circular economy.
- A New Circular Vision for Electronics: Time for a Global Reboot (PDF) (World Economic Forum, Jan 2019)
- Inside Ghana’s ‘graveyard’ for Europe’s e-waste (France24, Jun 2019)
- Poor Sustainability Practices – Enterprises are Overlooking the e-Waste Problem (Blancco, Apr 2020)
- Future E-waste Scenarios (PDF) (StEP Initiative, UNU ViE-SCYCLE, and UNEP IETC, Sep 2019)
- A False Sense of Security (Blancco, Nov 2019)
- Data Sanitization: Policy vs. Reality (Blancco, Feb 2020)
- MPS Launch Inquiry into E-waste and the Circular Economy (Resource, Jun 2019)
Erase data sustainably and securely with Blancco.
Download our eBook “Secure. Efficient. Green: 6 Tips to Optimize IT Asset Decommissioning” to learn more.