10/09/18
Editorial Insights
Asset Management

Asset Managers, don’t be left behind; sustainable thinking is catching on

    

Image ©: pleineconscience-franceWhen we started Sage Sustainable Electronics, ITAD was predominately a way that corporate companies disposed of their end-of-life IT assets. And the opposition we face most to this day is the lack of education that keeps well-meaning businesses from doing the right thing with their e-waste. So, when we see that trends are moving toward our side of the camp, we can’t help but get excited.

The pivotal role emerging

IT Asset Managers have a unique position. We’ve seen in our years as an ITAM and ITAD company, how being sustainable in this position can filter through an entire company—bringing everyone up to a new level of maturity in all aspects of sustainability. And the asset manager is key to this company-wide elevation because in that role, you touch on seven critical departments:

  • legal department
  • finance
  • IT operations
  • data security
  • procurement
  • and your company’s ESG department
  • (the seventh department is your own, ITAM program)

When working together, this group of stakeholders can help control risk, waste, and your brand all through the IT assets you manage. How? you ask. Read on for our industry secret.

The biggest secret to successful ITAD

Believe it or not, the Sage mission actually defines the next evolution of this industry—one that the linked article above hints at. As a thought leader in the industry, we’ve proven a method of sustainably handling what is arguably the most wasteful section of every business in America. IT assets are recycled every day and many—most, even—are still full of value that could be extracted.

The secret is sustainability; by being sustainable with the assets you manage, reselling, redeploying, refurbishing, and donating are all ways of reducing landfill waste while putting money or value back into your company. Remember, the mineral and material mojo tech companies cram into these sleek phones and laptops are deadly to our atmosphere and soil. By extending the use of IT assets, you can help make your company more sustainable.

But sometimes, even that value has been exhausted. Well, thankfully, there are still ways to be sustainable in recycling. If absolutely necessary, responsible recycling is the best way to keep e-waste at a minimum. Look for recyclers who go the extra mile to stay as eco-friendly as possible. Those are typically the recyclers who have e-Steward certification. This certification is based on the Basel Convention list of toxic waste and puts recyclers through a series of tests and voluntary evaluations throughout the year in order to comply to that stringent list.

The welcome competition

After having been at this for years, our CEO and owner (Bob Houghton and Jill Vaské, respectively) tend to view the growing number of sustainable asset managers through gritted teeth. After all, competition is aggravating for any business. But it is also openly welcomed when we see the challenge as saving the world from our collective consumption. To that, we say: the more the merrier!

Any move toward a more sustainable ITAM can only be sustainable
in itself when the right policies, regulations, and standards are in place.

When we first penned our mission several years ago, it was explicit and it has not changed since that ink dried. What we have created since then has been a methodology that allows us to make these bold goals not only scalable but profitable, as well. For instance, our processes of legal hold, data wiping, and refurbishing ensure the devices have a fresh start for the next user—even if it’s the same person who previously owned the device.

Sage wisdom for IT Asset Management

We are proud and humbled at the same time to have been here since the beginning. And, as thought-leaders in this industry, we hold what we do in the greatest of importance. Every time we create a process, or refine a program, we feel the weight of the industry bearing down on us. That’s a weight we gladly accept… but, the influx of imitators is definitely a welcome sight.

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