Five Industry Leaders Earn IDC's First Asset-Disposal Certifications

Five Industry Leaders Earn IDC's First Asset-Disposal Certifications

Dell, HP, IBM, Intechra and Redemtech yesterday became the first companies to receive the G.R.A.D.E. certification from IDC, evaluating their performance in handling 34 key areas of IT asset disposal.

Dell, HP, IBM, Intechra and Redemtech yesterday became the first companies to receive IT research organization IDC's Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise (G.R.A.D.E.) certification. The program evaluates companies' performance in handling 34 key areas of IT asset disposal, and each of the certified companies passed 75 percent or more of the required benchmarks.

"The way we designed this asset recovery certification is looking at two key elements," explained David Daoud, the research manager at IDC in charge of its Personal Computing and Quarterly PC Tracker program. "We came up with criteria that IT departments use or tend to need in order to secure their assets, reduce their costs, and reduce their environmental footprint in general."

The certification looks at five major groups: remote applications, on-site services, logistics, in-plant processing and post-treatment processes. These criteria are then weighted to reflect their importance on both the business process and on environmental footprint reduction.

As an example, Daoud explained that the remote applications, which mostly means web-based analytics tools to help managers get an estimate of the costs from any ITAD service, have basically no impact on the environmental footprint, but are hugely important to the business process for asset management.

One criterion that greatly impacts both sides of the equation is the post-treatment process for an asset management service, and one that needs the most improvement, according to the IDC study.

"The weakest point in all of this is the recycling phase," Daoud said. "The best solution as of now is that there are enough guarantees in place that these companies' processes are working fine." Those guarantees, including auditing and reporting of data from refurbishing and recycling, are another shortcoming in the ITAD process as of now, but one that Daoud expects to improve quickly as e-waste regulations like RoHS and WEEE make an impact.

"Those regulations have already had an effect on the industry, in that they've forced manufacturers to pay attention, although I'd say they are still not paying enough attention." Daoud also said that OEMs still tend to think about asset recovery more as a CSR discussion -- something nice to do, but not urgent -- and that processes as they stand are good enough for now.

The certifications announced yesterday are the results of an in-depth survey IDC conducted. That survey is available for purchase online at IDC.com.