Eco-Friendly I.T. Management
The UK produced a total of 1.6 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019, equating to approximately 23.9kg of waste per person
Eco Rule 1
Buy well and then keep it going as long as possible. Choose quality, durable hardware from reputable suppliers. Then care for it by maintaining it and cleaning it regularly.
Some I.T. needs upgrading every few years, but keyboards, mice and phones do not and can last 20 years if you look after them. Even screens have reached a size and quality that has not improved much in the last 10 years.
In the last 5 years, the UK has sent 12.5 million computers to landfill
Turn off electronics, lighting, and heat every evening and weekend
Opt for better office products.
Embrace renewable energy.
Turn down the thermostat.
Eco Rule 2
When people leave, make sure you get back all I.T. Then clean it and reissue it to new starters rather than buy new. A good ongoing programme of maintenance and cleaning will make this easy.
You need to get back computers anyway for GDPR. Wiping them of data and paying the WEEE charges to dispose is an extra encouragement to reuse where possible.
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Reduce your consumption. Eco-friendly I.T. means reducing what you throw away, reusing what you can and recycling if possible. How does your company achieve this?
We generate around 40 million tons of electronic waste every year, worldwide. That's like throwing 800 laptops every second.
Eco Rule 3
Keyboards, mice and screens cannot be recycled. The plastic is muddled in with other materials. It costs far too much to recycle. They will head for landfill, only 17% of I.T. waste is recycled sustainably.
This is why WEEE charges were brought in so companies pay to throw away. The UK still bins millions of tons a year. So do rule 1 and 2 as much as you can.
Monitors in a recycling centre
When computers were first common in offices in the 80s and 90s they were expensive and people cared for them and kept them running as long as possible. As they became cheaper, companies started buying new every couple of years and binning everything. WEEE rules mean you pay to throw away. This was to reduce the amount companies were throwing away.
People used to pass on old I.T. to charities but there is so much thrown away now that charities don't need more. A small amount is refurbished, but prevention is better than cure so look after your computers, get them cleaned and keep them well maintained. Your keyboards and mice can last you 20 years at least and your laptops and screens will last longer too. An extra year or two makes a huge difference to waste produced. Staff can do this themselves or we can help.