Our Vice President of Sales, Nicholas Holmes shares his thoughts on why a sustainable approach to equipment disposal is key to managing security, environmental and reputational risk.

When refreshing new technology, it is important to consider what happens to the equipment that is being replaced. Organisations often have good intentions when deciding what to do with their used IT equipment, but at times they overlook the risks involved with proper equipment disposal. It is important to partner with an organisation that handles end of life equipment and has demonstrated capability to manage the process in a seamless way, that minimises business disruption and also considers the data security and environmental aspects of end of use equipment disposal.

Some organisations donate their used equipment to staff or a charity. Why is this not a good idea?

Equipment coming out of use after 3-4 years can often have faults or is damaged, This equipment cannot be donated, and the organisation still has a disposal problem to solve.  Secondly, equipment cannot simply be donated in a state where it comes out of a business environment.  All data and enterprise licensed software must be removed prior to handing over any equipment, or else any staff or charities that receive such devices could access sensitive company information. Not only does donating used equipment pose a significant data security risk, but it also presents a reputational risk to an organisation.

Used equipment that has not been refurbished is not guaranteed to perform well in an end-user environment. There is no usable software on the machines, the battery life may not meet minimum standards and there is no warranty or support on these devices.  Who will a charity or end-user call if they have a problem with the machine donated by an organisation? – Often, they call the organisation who gave it to them. The end-user experience can, therefore, be underwhelming as they could inherit problems with the technology, which defeats the purpose of the donation in the first place.

Charities also rarely have the financial means for disposing of IT equipment in a responsible manner. By the time they are done with the machine, there is zero value, and they likely won’t be in a position to pay for proper disposal.  Donating used IT equipment is, therefore, a less sustainable way to dispose of used equipment.

If donating IT equipment to a charity, we recommend donating new equipment which has warranty and support, and where the out-of-the-box experience for the recipient is a positive one.

What happens to equipment returned to Equigroup?

Equipment that is returned to Equigroup undergoes a refurbishment process that enables us to extend the useful life of the devices and resell for reuse in the secondary market. Equipment is sanitised using certified data security tools and processes, tested and tagged, cleaned, and prepared for sale. Through our certified partner network, the refurbishment rate we achieve is over 95%. Where equipment cannot be re-sold for its intended use, it is taken apart and stripped for usable parts, with the remaining materials separated, sorted and disposed of through certified recycling companies who meet Australian environmental standards. This way we minimise any waste to landfill, which is good for business and good for the environment.

How can organisations use Equigroup’s remarketing and disposal services?

We can include the cost of decommissioning, data wipe and disposal into any new finance contracts, which means customers can refresh their technology without worrying about what happens to their old equipment. We can also buy-back owned equipment that still holds a market value. In most cases, IT equipment that is less than three years old still holds a positive net value after the cost of data wipe and refurbishment, so there is value to be unlocked for the customer.

Have a chat with one of our sales team to see how we can help you with your sustainable remarketing requirements.