Circular economy in IT: 5 ways sustainable practices are reshaping asset lifecycle management

Blogs en artikelen

Businesses must recognise the transformative impact of sustainable practices guided by circular economy principles in the evolving IT landscape.

Erin Gately, Circular Economy Expert, Iron Mountain
Erin Gately
Circular Economy Expert, Iron Mountain
18 december 20237 min
Environmental technology concept

This blog explores five key ways in which sustainability is reshaping asset lifecycle management (ALM).

Foundations of circular economy in IT

To understand the transformation underway, it's crucial to delve into the foundations of what we mean by circular economy. The approach prioritises practices such as responsible sourcing, reuse, waste reduction, and recycling. When applied to IT, these principles help minimise environmental impact and promote responsible resource management.

Reshaping asset lifecycle management

Traditional approaches to ALM historically often involved a linear progression from acquisition to disposal. Today, the shift toward sustainability introduces a circular model, where the end of an asset's life is not the endpoint but rather a continuation. This change in perspective is reshaping how businesses manage their IT assets, considering the environmental implications at every stage.

Five key ways sustainable practices are making an impact

#1 Sustainable procurement strategies

Sustainable IT practices begin with responsible procurement. Businesses are adopting eco-friendly sourcing methods, ensuring that the manufacturing and sourcing of IT assets adhere to environmentally conscious standards. This not only reduces the carbon footprint but also supports ethical practices.

#2 Extending laptop lifespan

Circular economy principles emphasise extending the life of laptops. Rather than succumbing to the throwaway culture, businesses are implementing strategies to prolong the usability of IT assets. This not only reduces electronic waste but also contributes to cost savings.

#3 Efficient data centre decommissioning

Sustainable practices extend to the decommissioning of data centre assets. Responsible disposal methods are employed to minimise environmental impact. This includes recycling components, remarketing or repurposing equipment, and ensuring that the end-of-life process aligns with environmental sustainability goals and best practices.

#4 Financial implications and return on investment (ROI)

Contrary to the perception that sustainability comes at a high cost, businesses are finding that eco-friendly IT practices can lead to significant cost savings. Efficient use of resources, reduced waste management expenses, and a positive impact on the company's image contribute to a favorable return on investment.

#5 Business impact and reputation

Embracing sustainable practices in IT has a direct impact on a company's reputation. In an era where consumers prioritise environmentally conscious businesses, a commitment to sustainability enhances the brand's image. This not only attracts environmentally conscious clients but also fosters partnerships with like-minded organisations. Neglecting proper procedures can lead to adverse consequences, including fines, damaging a company's reputation.

Final thought

In essence, the integration of circular economy principles into IT asset lifecycle management is not only reshaping practices but also proving to be a catalyst for positive change. Businesses that embrace sustainability in IT are not just future-proofing their operations but contributing to a more sustainable and responsible global ecosystem.