Technology is evolving at an accelerated pace. For businesses, having the latest hardware is vital to staying competitive. Failing to implement an equipment destruction and recycling strategy can put your organisation at risk of operational inefficiencies and poor customer experiences.
While staying up to date is important, it’s also essential to have a safe and ethical e-waste recycling policy. If you’re working with a managed services provider, they will have their own protocols to update, recycle, and destroy server hardware and more. However, the devices used on-premise is your responsibility.
If this process isn’t handled with care, you’ll put your business at significant risk. If enterprise equipment isn’t properly sanitised before it’s destroyed or recycled, it could lead to a data breach.
That’s why a proper IT asset disposal programme is designed to protect both your business and the brand. Furthermore, it ensures that enterprise hardware is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
A proper equipment destruction strategy will:
- Protect your brand value
- Refurbish and re-market legacy devices and other assets while ensuring privacy
- Securely destroy or recycle media onsite or offsite
Destroy Data Before Destroying Equipment
Enterprises destroy end-of-life equipment, sometimes, unnecessarily, because of outdated security policies. However, before dumping legacy hardware in a landfill or recycling them, it’s critical to destroy the data stored in them.
In this scenario, deleting the files isn’t enough. You need to take steps to ensure that the data is properly wiped clean before taking the next step. Regardless of whether it’s a PC or a PoS device, the same rules apply.
Your organisation decides the level of data destruction and recycling required. For example, if you’re a healthcare provider, you might need magnetic degaussing of computerised data.
In highly regulated industries that handle sensitive information, you may also need to have dates, descriptions of processes used to destroy data, and signatures of those who witnessed the destruction of old hardware.
However, destroying enterprise equipment shouldn’t be your first option. According to the World Economic Forum and the United Nations E-waste Coalition, about 50 million tonnes of electronic waste is produced each year. Most of this waste is either dumped in the landfills of the world’s poorest countries or incinerated.
Recycle Whenever Possible to Save the Planet
When you recycle end-of-life equipment, again, data destruction is the first critical step. In this scenario, you can leverage software that purges and wipes hard drives (and storage drives) clean.
If you engage in magnetic degaussing, it’ll render your hard drive useless. So refurbishing the device to sell it on won’t be an option. Either way, even if you decide to smash your legacy devices, you can recycle some components( and not throw it all in the bin).
After the data is wiped clean, evaluate which parts are viable for repair and resale. Whenever electronics still have something to offer, refurbish and resale is the most environmentally sound option.
However, refurbishing old enterprise equipment doesn’t necessarily have to take the resale route. Instead, you can support ongoing corporate social responsibility programmes by donating your old devices. This approach not only breaths new life into old hardware but also enhances your brand image.
Whenever you’re unable to manage this process in-house, it’s best to engage an established third-party partner. A third-party partner will have tried and tested strategies for the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of enterprise electronics.
It’ll also ensure that end-of-life equipment is either destroyed or recycled following strict security policies. As long as they follow the Australian government’s ICT equipment sanitisation and disposal guidelines, your company will remain protected.
To learn more about establishing safe and environmentally-friendly equipment destruction and recycling protocols, schedule commitment-free consultation.