The Future’s Bright – The Future’s Green
The environment is at a global tipping point whereby everything is increasingly pointing to the Green Agenda.
The environmental green movement dates back decades but began in earnest in the 1980s as a staunch response to rampant consumerism and the increased awareness of the effects of greenhouse gases in the public sphere.
Looking back on those decades, the green movement was not as well-known and publicized as it is today; nevertheless, those early formative years were essential in garnering the backing of governments and business leaders.
The way our thinking has changed over the decades was concisely explained by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, now a household name for philanthropy, amongst other endeavors. In the 1980s, Gates was changing the ecosystem of microcomputers with his Windows operating system and the software we all know and recognize today like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Fortune favors the bold, which is why Gates had to be infamously aggressive in his business undertakings to make Microsoft a leader in market share. He has been, at various times, the richest man on the planet, so it may seem counterintuitive to label him as a staunch campaigner of the green movement.
Forty years later and lessons learned along the way, Gates released How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. That’s a far cry from the Windows and Excel of yester-decade.
The Power of Procurement
Gates made a strong argument in his book regarding the environmental concerns regarding the power of business procurement with which we are all now quite familiar.
No matter whether you’re purchasing a few items as a private individual or a major corporation procuring a gazillion widgets, everything that goes into the shopping cart or on the procurement list has profound implications. He argued that while the cost of greener alternatives may cost a little more if enough businesses switch to eco-friendly alternatives despite their higher cost, future generations can expect to see lower costs overall for these greener products.
Moreover, the network effects of more companies buying green products will incentivize others to adopt eco-friendly procurement strategies, which will in turn attract institutional investors over the long term.
The Circular Economy
Before stepping out your front door to go pick up a new product, consider first the following questions: why are you buying the product in the first place, and; do you need it?
To give an example, most of us would agree that it’s sensible to purchase a new bicycle to reduce emissions from alternatives such as driving a car, but have you considered ways in which to reduce, reuse, and retool products that you already have at your disposal rather than buying new? Retrofitting a bicycle to become an e-bike can be an impulse towards making the switch to cycling for the morning commute rather than driving.
When it comes to laptops and computers, any IT professional can quickly tell you that modern PCs are systems unto themselves: GPUs, CPUs, flash memory, peripherals, and so on all working in conjunction for their intended purpose.
All of these components are essential for your PC to operate as it does, but they are individually separate items with their own shelf life. A faulty processor doesn’t mean you need to throw away the keyboard and monitor. Instead, with a little technical know-how, you can replace exactly the part you need without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
This is one of the philosophical tenets of the circular economy. Replace the part, not the whole machine, so that the entire system can keep running for years to come. Even when the entire system inevitably reaches its end of life, someone out there may have a use for it, such as a charity.
Wisetek’s commitment to the Green Agenda
While knowing how to repair and install PC components yourself is a valuable skill, not everyone has the full know-how to make these repairs. In large organizations, dealing with hundreds or thousands of devices can quickly become a tangled mess, even for skilled IT staff.
That’s where Wisetek can help. Although Gates was correct in saying that buying newer, green products may command a slight premium, IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) works the opposite way. You reduce the need for procurement by contributing your IT assets to a circular economy and save money in the process due to decreased waste and prolonged lifespans of key assets.
This life cycle management of IT assets starts with a professional audit of all organizational IT assets (laptops, computer workstations, data centers, etc.) to ascertain their value and condition. When a device runs into problems as it ages, a robust audit will allow you to evaluate various choices rather than simply disposing of the asset and buying anew.
For instance, your ITAD provider can provide you with professional advice regarding the true condition of IT assets, which parts can feasibly be reused, which parts can be resold on the global market as refurbished components, and finally, which need to be disposed of.
By reducing needless electronic waste, you’re taking steps towards environmental stewardship. With a robust ITAD strategy in place, you’ll also reap savings now and in the future in addition to helping Mother Nature.