Xperien IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) expert Bridgette Vermaak says the days of simply disposing of old electronics are over. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – The circular economy is a modern framework that is restorative by design, it has multiple society-wide benefits and it aims to redefine business growth. 

This model not only reduces environmental and electronic waste, but it builds economic capital by keeping products and materials in use for much longer.

Companies can now recover and refurbish electronics with every electronic device at end-of-life becoming a new resource rather than merely being discarded. This model allows business leaders to make better informed choices about how they can optimise IT asset management.

Transitioning to a circular economy generates huge business and economic opportunities. It recognises the value of ‘waste’ and repurposes these items as alternative resources that can be used again in a circular cycle. The new trend is to rather refurbish than recycle, businesses are finding new innovative ways to maximise profits through green initiatives.

Xperien IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) expert Bridgette Vermaak says the days of simply disposing of old electronics are over, the responsible thing today is to implement a sustainable IT asset program by engaging with a reputable IT asset management company that can provide the effective recovery, reuse and retirement of redundant IT assets.

“We help customers move away from the traditional linear economy by encouraging a more circular economy by keeping IT assets in use for as long as possible instead of disposing of them at an early stage,” she says.

Once an asset has been received, Xperien first takes care of the data compliance issues and ensures that all data is effectively removed from the device according to customer and regulatory requirements.

Additional reporting procedures

“There are of course a lot of additional reporting procedures that then take place as to give clients and their auditors piece of mind that they have followed best practice during a disposal," she explains.

Xperien provides a comprehensive, digitally-signed Certificate of Erasure after each erasure. Reporting can be customised to include a wide variety of custom fields according to the client's compliance and auditing needs.

Each report provides detailed information that helps companies comply with regulations like PoPIA, GDPR, ISO 27001, FISMA, HIPAA and SOX. All activities are logged to ensure transparency and tight security throughout the auditing process. To prevent any tampering, the reports also include a digital signature for optimal security.

The asset then goes through a vigorous certified refurbished process (CRS) whereby every component of the asset is refurbed into a retail standard. Once all internal components are refurbed, the aesthetics of the device is also refurbished so that not only will it run like a new device, but it will also look like a new device.

"Although most of our clients are corporates in the financial sector, I was recently approached by a school to do an evaluation of their ITAD processes. They required assistance with the disposal of its redundant IT equipment," she adds.

Although they saved 75% on their IT spend, the school's decision was not purely from a cost saving perspective but more about contributing towards the environment and supporting the local economy.

"The school received their certified refurbished assets with a 3 year next day warranty. They are extremely happy with their decision and they also mentioned that most staff thought the equipment was new and didn’t even realise that the assets were refurbished," she concludes.

Computers, phones and other digital devices don’t need to be discarded, they can be refurbished and either reused or sold. However, one must ensure that refurbished systems are ISO certified and audited. Certified Refurbished System (CRS) is an industry standard that gives consumers piece of mind knowing that they have purchased from an accredited reseller with good aftersales service.

BUSINESS REPORT