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IT Asset Recovery and the Triple Bottom Line, Pt. 1

alone-2173_1280We are all familiar with the bottom line. Profitability is the key motivator in business decisions. But as more people turn their attention to broader issues of sustainability, profit isn’t and perhaps shouldn’t be the only motivation. This is the idea behind the triple bottom line. Rather than relying on profit as the ultimate determiner for business decisions, the triple bottom line adds on two more criteria: social and environmental concerns. The simplified mantra is “people, planet, profit.” It is an appealing framework for those with sustainability on the mind, especially the growing number of Millennials who are entering the workforce. The triple bottom line is also an important framework to consider when managing your end-of-life technology. When you dispose of your old technology, it becomes e-waste. E-waste has a huge impact on both people and the planet. But there’s an easy way to handle old technology that addresses the three key priorities of the triple bottom line: IT asset recovery.

How IT Asset Recovery Helps People

Most of the world’s old technology ends up in e-waste slums. In these places, people, including children, pick through the toxic materials to scavenge anything that might be worth selling. The livelihood cobbled together by sifting through our technological refuse is meager at best. Surrounded by e-waste, their lives expose them to harmful chemicals which causes permanent, debilitating health problems. The conditions in these slums are fueled by the way we use technology. We purchase, use and discard electronic equipment at a break-neck pace. We treat technology as though it is disposable. The thoughtless disposal of technology plays a direct part in the living conditions of these e-waste laborers.

In contrast, the backbone of IT asset recovery is refurbishment and reuse. Rather than using and discarding technology, IT asset recovery rescues equipment from being prematurely disposed or recycled. This slows down the rate at which we discard technology, and ultimately diverts equipment from ending up in these slums. More importantly, IT asset recovery prevents your old technology from playing a part in the unethical treatment and polluted living conditions of people in countries overseas, such as Ghana, India and China.

How IT Asset Recovery Helps Your Community

The reasons listed above are more than enough cause to choose IT asset recovery as a sustainable solution for your decommissioned technology. But IT asset recovery has even more to offer. Rather than the typical “use and dispose” mindset, IT asset recovery advocates a sustainable mindset of “refurbish and reuse.” The refurbishment process reintroduces high-quality equipment back into the marketplace for reuse. This gives organizations in your community – nonprofits, schools or growing businesses – affordable options when budgets are tight. Through the refurbishment process, IT asset recovery enables your old IT equipment to effect positive social change. This both helps people in need, and boosts the economic sustainability of your community.

These social concerns are just one facet of the triple bottom line. Tomorrow, I’ll review how IT asset recovery addresses the final two criteria of this sustainable model: planet and profit.

Find out how your company can implement sustainable policies for your end of life IT equipment. Schedule a free consultation today!

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