The fear of sustainability
by Philip McMichael, CEO, Vyta.
Like many in the IT asset disposition (ITAD) industry, I read this piece in last week’s Financial Times with interest. The article describes a wariness amongst some large enterprises to embrace sustainable IT disposal practices due to their fear of data breaches or leaks. It reflects what we in Vyta have witnessed ourselves and it is the reason why we put so much emphasis on educating our clients. We are helping them to see that data security and sustainability can work together to benefit their organisation and the planet.
Before sustainability’s quite recent move to the top of the corporate agenda, one of the greatest concerns for businesses was what to do with their ever-growing volumes of data. Then came GDPR, combined with some high-profile data breaches and fines, and business leaders became fearful. The idea of preserving old IT equipment rather than completely destroying it seemed too risky. As the Financial Times article outlines, some continue to live in fear.
However, an entire professional industry has emerged in the last 25 years, focusing on helping businesses to become more sustainable by securely wiping data from all devices and repurposing the equipment. In Vyta’s case, we wipe all data using Blancco secure data erasure software, the world’s leading and most secure data wiping software and provide customers with a certificate to confirm that their data has been 100% destroyed. We understand the complexities and importance of data security, and as an industry, we are helping businesses to understand our service and processes so that they can see that it is possible to protect data and the environment at the same time.
The benefits to a sustainable approach are manifold. Choosing to refurbish rather than destroy puts less strain on natural resources and significantly cuts CO2 emissions while also keeping items in the circular economy, which can benefit less advantaged groups of people both at home and in developing countries. Additionally, businesses can elect to use the revenue generated from the resale of their IT equipment to support charities that they care about. In 2019 and 2020, Vyta customers received €7 million from the resale of their old IT equipment.
Businesses are talking about the green agenda and have a genuine desire to do better. They are making progress, but more can be done. Organisations must engage with their suppliers and work with them to put a clear strategy in place, focusing on the circular economy and taking meaningful, proven steps that will limit their carbon footprint.The ITAD industry is already helping businesses to turn the tables on climate change. We have an equal responsibility to protect data and the environment – they are not mutually exclusive. In trusting an IT asset disposal company to destroy their data, organisations can also give back to the planet and communities in need. The only footprint they will leave is a green one.
Get in touch with our team today to ensure your end-of-life IT equipment is treated sustainably.