Dell Boosts its Electronic Recycling by 93 Percent
The computer maker held a conference call to announce progress of its recycling program and the findings of research it commissioned into the IT asset disposal industry.
The company plans to recover about 275 million pounds of unwanted computer equipment by 2009. Last year, it recovered more than 78 million pounds of computer equipment, a 93 percent increase from the year before. That's equal to 12.4 percent of equipment it sold seven years earlier, which it claims is more than any other manufacturer that reports recovery amounts relative to past sales weight.
"We are the only manufacturer to provide consumers free recycling worldwide irrespective of purchase," said Doug Hillary, director of Dell's Business Solutions Group, Global Services.
Thursday's conference call comes a week after HP announced it had recycled 1 billion pounds of electronics and print cartridges, putting it ahead of its recycling goal by six months.
Hillary said some aspects of the recovery process incur expenses while others do not.
"When you look at the spectrum, it is cost positive," he said.
Earlier this year, the company commissioned IDC to survey more than 1,000 companies in the U.S., Canada, Germany and France.
It found that about a third of respondents -- mostly medium- and large-sized companies -- use a third-party IT asset disposal service. The rate in Germany and France is much higher -- almost 40 percent.
The research shows that rates are one the rise, said David Daoud, IDC research manager and the report's lead analyst. Unfortunately, a majority of organizations remain without assets disposal strategies.
Security was the top motivator in using an IT asset disposal service, followed by regulatory compliance concerns and environmental stewardship.
Companies in heavily regulated sectors that deal with highly sensitive data are more than twice as likely to use an IT asset disposal service than professional service companies, research showed. For instance, more than 60 percent of banks surveyed use such a service.
Many companies without an IT asset disposal service choose instead to donate their unwanted computer equipment to charity. This, however, still poses the risk of data leakage.
Companies used cost to justify or negate using an IT asset disposal service, Daoud said.
"At this stage, more than 65 percent don't have a service in place, part of that is concern over pricing," Daoud said.
Overall, the IT asset disposal industry is consolidating and responding to stiffer responsibility requirements driven by customer demand. Still, Daoud cautioned end users to study potential third party service providers.
"There is a very big layer of small players who have questionable practices," he said.
Faced with a tide of post-consumer plastic trash, organizations are thinking up innovative ways to profitably harness this potentially vast revenue stream. Read more
The sixth annual edition of research has been expanded to include data on 1,600 companies worldwide, as well as on the U.S.-based S&P 500. Find out where the world of sustainable business is headed -- and the leading indicators of future progress.
Read the stories and download the report.
Simran Sethi shares how our psychology and geography shape the ways we engage and share with each other. See our entire video collection