Three quarters of end of life IT kit is not being recycled

old scrap computers

Just a quarter (24 percent) of end-of-life equipment is being cleaned up and reused, while 39 percent of organizations physically destroy end-of-life IT equipment according to a new study.

Research from data erasure specialist Blancco Technology Group looks at the issues associated with the corporate sustainability practices that some of the world's largest enterprises are following today.

Physically destroying IT assets, when accompanied by a certificate of destruction and a full audit trail, is a valid data disposal option when hardware has reached the end of its life. However, if electronics are improperly disposed of and end up in landfill, the toxic or hazardous materials they contain, such as mercury and lead, can be harmful to the environment, and anyone who is exposed to them.

The report also highlights the issue of redundant data. Only six percent of all data ever created is currently in use, according to research from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which means 94 percent is sitting in a vast 'cyber landfill.' Organizations around the world are therefore sitting on huge amounts of redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT) data they don't need and that are consuming valuable energy resources.

"In today's global climate, sustainability should be at the heart of every business’ strategy," says Fredrik Forslund, vice president, enterprise and cloud erasure solutions at Blancco. "Yet, it's clear from our research that organizations globally are not doing enough. By managing retired IT assets in a more environmentally friendly way, putting them back into the circular economy and removing unnecessary data in active environments -- should be best practice for all organizations. Furthermore, by actively looking at the data they hold as part of their data lifecycle management initiatives and regularly and securely removing the data they no longer need, organizations will not only reduce their energy consumption -- but also remain compliant."

The full report is available from the Blancco site.

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