Sustainability Doesn’t Need to Be Hard
- December 17, 2022
Customers, regulators, employees and the world expect companies today to prioritize sustainability throughout their business. For organizations that rely heavily on technological devices, addressing that can be tricky, putting more responsibility on their ITDMs to simultaneously manage device lifecycles efficiently and effectively, while also looking for ways to achieve long-term corporate sustainability objectives.
Given the complexities inherent in establishing, maintaining and verifying sustainability practices, it is no wonder 71% of companies say they need a partner to accelerate their programs to achieve their sustainability goals.¹
With the right IT partner and strategy, organizations can reduce their environmental impact and place themselves in a better position to meet company-wide sustainability goals. At Dell Technologies, we believe complete device lifecycle management begins the day a device enters inventory and ends with responsible asset disposition.
Electronic waste is a growing problem, and companies must ensure they direct unused devices to responsible recycling programs that will properly handle and dispose of the waste. This can be a complex and time-consuming process for IT managers, requiring them to research and select reputable recyclers and to transport and deliver the e-waste for proper disposal. Companies must also ensure their e-waste is fully documented and tracked to comply with local, state and national regulations. A third-party service provider can help overcome these challenges, assuming the vendor has the scale, visibility and experience with the post-use supply chain.
The sustainability challenge posed by the packaging used to ship and receive devices to and from employees is significant, and even more so in this hybrid work environment. Factor in global supply chains, varied product sizes and weights, local regulations, and the need to reduce waste and ensure recyclability and you have a tremendously complex opportunity.
Materials play an important role in the sustainability of these packages. In addition to the environmental costs of producing new packaging materials and disposing of used ones, there are financial costs associated with these practices. Companies must remain aware of changing recycling regulations that can drive up their recycling costs, while also investing in sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint. Moreover, not all materials are recyclable, so companies have to seek ways to reuse or repurpose materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.
One significant challenge businesses face when trying to maximize utilization of desktops, laptops and other electronics is that these devices often aren’t returned when employees leave the company.
Here’s a real-world example of this scenario. A large health plan provider reported several thousand computers were unaccounted for due to high annual employee turnover. This combination of factors could significantly hamper the company’s ability to responsibly repair, reuse or retire its equipment and promote sustainable recycling. By partnering with a device lifecycle services provider, the company quickly turned things around, making significant strides in meeting its business goals.
Managing the retirement of devices on a large scale can be a complex task. Most organizations today only focus on the return of systems — the desktop or laptop — but what about all the peripheral items like monitors, keyboards, mice and headsets? Typically, these items end up in landfills. Companies must consider multiple factors to address this challenge, such as vendor management, secure data disposal and environmental regulations, while adhering to related standards and best practices. Working with the right partner who understands the importance of responsible disposal can reduce risks and ensure those retired devices have lasting value and minimal environmental impact.
Through services like our Lifecycle Hub, Dell offers impact-generating solutions to help our clients meet their sustainability targets while achieving business outcomes. With capabilities that include return, repair and redeploy services, we help maximize device utilization by getting devices back for reuse or disposition, utilizing packaging materials from recycled or renewable sources as part of the process. We’ve worked hard to make Lifecycle Hub a comprehensive IT device lifecycle management solution that addresses the complexity of managing and maintaining your fleet of electronic devices, while also helping meet corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship standards.
Lifecycle Hub works alongside our Dell Asset Recovery Services to sanitize devices and prioritize reuse to minimize waste and maximize value. Moreover, if a particular asset is deemed unusable, we responsibly recycle it through reliable and certified third-party partners Dell thoroughly vets. The service is designed for transparency to ensure a beneficial feedback loop for the circular economy.
At Dell Technologies, sustainability and ethical business practices drive the entire company, informing everything from how we make our products to how we design our services to ensure we positively impact clients and make a real difference in our world. We understand the importance of joining together to create a better and more sustainable tomorrow.
1 Sustainability Starts Here: Accelerating Sustainable IT Programs With As-A Service Models, Forrester, Feb 2022