Feb 16 2024

3 Steps Your Organization Can Take to Support Sustainability

In the face of environmental stressors, businesses should opt for more IT asset management and disposition options to be sustainable.

Sustainability is now an imperative for businesses, regardless of industry. Consumers are also demanding it. As the Harvard Business Review notes, “We’re fast approaching this tipping point where sustainability will be considered a baseline requirement for purchase, and companies should prepare now.”

In response, organizations are continuing to enact and prioritize myriad sustainability initiatives. This starts with reducing paper and plastic use in favor of digital-forward environments. But it also extends to electronic waste and other tech-related environmental stressors. Here are three immediate steps IT decision-makers can take to achieve their sustainability goals.

Click the banner below to learn about smart ways to dispose of old devices. 

Step 1: Monitor and Measure Energy Use

Every business — not just those in energy and utilities — should monitor and measure energy usage routinely. In the U.S., for instance, small businesses alone spend over $60 billion a year on energy, and up to 30 percent of this can be attributed to inefficient energy use. Wasted energy use contributes to increased emissions of certain air pollutants and greenhouse gases, which are key contributors to climate change.

The problem can be avoided by choosing smart connectivity options that increase energy efficiency and reduce an organization’s carbon footprint. IT leaders can also work with a tech partner, such as CDW, to get a full view of their organization’s energy use and environmental impact. From there, they can select products, solutions and services to keep their energy costs low.

If companies make this collective commitment, they could save over $2 trillion a year across the global economy, research shows.

Dylan Zajac
It’s important that companies know of options to donate their old electronic equipment so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill.”

Dylan Zajac Founder and Executive Director, Computers 4 People

Step 2: Dispose of Tech More Responsibly

Device recycling and e-waste management is another priority. The World Health Organization reports that the creation of e-waste is escalating three times faster than the global population, making it the fastest-growing solid waste stream in the world. Without proper treatment and disposal, e-waste releases toxic compounds into the air and groundwater, adversely affecting the environment and its inhabitants.

By implementing IT asset disposition, businesses can responsibly dispose of outdated tech equipment so that parts can be reused, recycled or resold, perhaps in partnership with a nonprofit, such as Computers 4 People or Human-I-T. These organizations repurpose discarded electronics for educational use, helping communities in need.

RELATED: Why your tech investments play a crucial role in sustainability.

“It’s important that companies know of options to donate their old electronic equipment so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill,” says Dylan Zajac, founder and executive director of Computers 4 People. “I think donating is possibly the best option because it’s free. And don’t you want to know that your computer went to a good cause?”

Donation is a way of recycling old technology, but businesses can also resell it to an IT service provider or refurbish it so that working parts are salvaged. IT leaders can choose from a range of options to reduce e-waste.

DIG DEEPER: Achieving efficient energy use in your tech ecosystem.

Step 3: Implement a Lifecycle Management Strategy

In 2023, 72 percent of CEOs pledged to prioritize digital investments. But to get the maximum ROI, the technology itself needs to run properly and last a long time. That’s where a technology lifecycle management strategy comes in. It can help increase business productivity while mitigating excess energy use and ensuring sustainable practices, from device acquisition to disposal.

An effective lifecycle management strategy considers the complete IT environment from software and hardware to Software as a Service. It also requires two components: IT asset management and IT asset disposal. In short, how will IT leaders manage their technology during active use? And once it is time to retire the technology, how can the organization dispose of it responsibly?

Answering these questions will help organizations extend the lifecycle of their technology and ensure that each product boosts a part of the business.

Umnat Seebuaphan / getty images

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