E-waste, discarded electronics, harms the environment and public health. Companies can mitigate impact through certified recycling centers and donating old electronics. It's vital to partner with responsible IT firms that prioritize sustainable e-waste management.As you know, how your organization impacts the environment (positively or negatively) is also a factor in your B-Corp score.
And you could be hurting the planet without you even knowing it…
You recycle cans, bottles, and other things. These are the obvious ones. But do you have a plan for your organization’s e-waste?
Now you’re probably thinking “What the heck is e-waste??
E-waste, or electronic waste, refers to discarded electronics. It includes things like cell phones, laptops, televisions, and printers.
It has become a major issue affecting our environment. When a printer stops working or a computer dies, you may not know what to do with it. A lot of people don’t, which is why so much of it ends up in landfills.
THE IMPACT OF E-WASTE
The US has become the biggest source of e-waste in the world. Americans discard more than 350,000 cell phones and 120,000 computers per day. WTF!
Not all of this comes from individuals. A lot of it comes from corporations and non-profit organizations. Today, it is impossible to run an effective and efficient operation without increasing the use of technology. As a result, your organization may harm the environment, even if you don’t realize it.
What happens to all of that e-waste once people throw it away? Great question!
A lot of it goes to polluting developing countries. The United States sends up to 40% of its discarded electronics to other nations, and many of these nations don’t have proper safety standards for handling this waste. For the people living in these countries, it means polluted air, water & food and many other safety concerns. Workers who handle these materials may even face a higher risk of cancer and other diseases.
There has to be a better way…
THE SOLUTION FOR BUSINESSES
Thankfully, a solution does exist; certified sustainable e-waste recycling centers in the US. These recycling centers don’t send waste to developing nations. Instead, they use safe, responsible recycling techniques.
In addition to properly recycling e-waste through recycling centers, another solution is to donate old electronics that may no longer be suitable for your organization’s needs but would still work great for those who can’t afford similar electronics. There are several charities that would love to receive and distribute these items.
Feel good while doing good for the environment… double win!
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR E-WASTE DOESN’T CAUSE HARM
Now, how can you make sure that your company’s e-waste goes to a certified recycling center?
Start by looking at your partners and vendors. Where do you get your supplies and services from? Some of these organizations may promote environmental and social good…
How does this apply to IT? Your IT-as-a-service partnership can be a great place to start looking into a solution like this. If you work with any company that deals with electronics, ask them what they do with those electronics when they need to be replaced. Do they have their own e-waste recycling program? If not, consider an IT partner that does.
Some IT service firms even take things a step further. Not only do they recycle their own e-waste, but they can also help you recycle yours too. If you partner with this kind of service, you can make sure that your discarded electronics don’t take up unneeded space — either in your office or a landfill. And we might happen to know one that does…
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT WITH THE RIGHT IT PARTNERSHIP
A certified B-Corporation like us, for example, can help you manage your e-waste safely.
Want to learn more about reducing your carbon footprint?
Then get in touch with us today.
We’d love to talk to you about how your organization can make a difference.