Techie's green pet: IDC develops new report card for tech asset recyclers

Does your IT services company make the grade when it comes to retiring and disposing of technology assets in the greenest way possible?Researcher IDC has come up with a new certification and weighting system for IT assess disposal functions that it is calling the Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise (G.

Does your IT services company make the grade when it comes to retiring and disposing of technology assets in the greenest way possible?

Researcher IDC has come up with a new certification and weighting system for IT assess disposal functions that it is calling the Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise (G.R.A.D.E.) certification. The new designation, which only focuses on the United States for now, studies how disposal organizations handles 34 functions that IDC considers key to ensuring a green disposal process. These fall into five areas: remote applications, onsite services, logistics, in-plant processing and post treatment.

Five companies managed to make the G.R.A.D.E. in this first round of assessment: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intechra and Redemtech. Although IDC didn’t come out and say which of these companies scored best, they all met at least 75 percent of the criteria that IDC laid out as best practices.

For an idea of what these companies do right, consider the case of Redemtech, a subsidiary of Micro Electronics. Some of its best practices include the following:

- Adhering to a zero-landfill, zero-export, zero-incineration, zero-prison labor policy for managing e-waste and holding supply chain partners accountable to these same policies.

- Adopting an Environmental Management System that exceeds environmental legal requirements and that is certified under ISO 14001 standards.

- Signing the Electronic Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship, as set out by the Basel Action Network.

- Participating in the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher program, which gives it the right to install and resell used equipment more efficiently. (Redemtech also offers its services free to charities.)

- Testing for scrap components to ensure their remarketability.

- And, not to be overlooked, using a highly thorough data security process to ensure that anything that could compromise privacy laws is removed from assets being disposed of or recycled.

IDC says one area where all these companies need to get better is in providing a thorough final accounting for all assets, in terms of cost, carbon emission control data, toxic waste elimination information and export destination follow-up.

IDC’s complete report on this topic is called: “2008 Assessment of U.S. IT Asset Disposal Service Providers.”

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