How to Send ESG Ratings Up and Data Security Risk Down

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings are increasingly scrutinized in today’s corporate landscape, leaving many companies searching for ways to improve their eco-friendly practices.  ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) is one area where a company can make decisions that significantly impact its ESG score. However, companies need to consider data security in addition to ESG-boosting practices when disposing of end-of-life electronics. 

ESG scoreEvery year, companies dispose of countless tons of electronic waste (also known as e-waste) often with little consideration for environmental consequences. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, “The United States generates about 46 pounds of e-waste per capita annually, according to the United Nations 2020 e-waste monitoring report. Globally, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste are produced every year worlwide, the analysis estimates. Maybe unsurprisingly, but still alarmingly, only about 17% of this waste is properly collected, documented, and recycled across the globe each year. Much of the remaining 83% of e-waste sits idle in homes and businesses or is disposed of improperly, according to the analysis.*1 

E-waste often contains hazardous substances like cadmium, lead, arsenic, and polyvinyl chlorides (PVC), which can lead to soil, water, and air contamination with far-reaching ecological consequences. 

The Importance of R2v3 Certification 

R2v3 certified The best way to increase your ESG score when you are ready to dispose of end-of-life equipment is to make sure that you are working with an R2v3-certified company that understands the circular economy of technology. This type of company can make sure that every component of an electronic device is reused or recycled to maximize the value of the waste or to make sure that it is disposed of in a way that causes minimal harm to the environment. 

Support a Circular Economy 

support a circular economy

Working with a company committed to re-using all possible components of your retired electronics allows companies to develop a more sustainable and efficient economic model regarding the lifecycle of their electronic devices, resulting in improved ESG ratings. 

Once decommissioned, Securis processes each component using a procedure that determines if a component has any residual value. If so, that value is shared with our clients in our Value Recovery Program; if not, each component is recycled in the most environmentally friendly way possible. We even require our downstream vendors to sign an Agreement for the Responsible Disposal of Sensitive Materials. 

Prioritize Data Security While Improving ESG Ratings

While increasing ESG ratings is an admirable goal for any company, prioritizing data security is paramount when disposing of electronic equipment. This is because devices such as servers, laptops, and hard drives often contain sensitive information. 

shredding electronic wastePartnering with a certified IT asset disposition (ITAD) specialist like Securis can ensure that data is securely destroyed to NSA standards before equipment is decommissioned. 

In addition to knowing that you are working with a responsible partner in decommissioning and recycling your assets, you need proof that shows exactly what your company decommissioned and recycled. 

Working with a company that provides detailed inventory lists and a certified Certificate of Destruction can provide physical proof that your company is a responsible steward of the environment, making the right choices to protect the planet. 

The inventory lists do not yet have ESG ratings, but they will detail all re-used or responsibly recycled assets. By keeping those end-of-life electronics out of landfills, you contribute to a circular economy of technology and increase that all-important ESG score.

certified data destructionSecuris Makes the Following Environmental Commitments: 

  • Securis will not export electronics to developing countries and continents like China, India, and Africa to comply with the Basel Action Network (BAN). 
  • Securis will commit to doing all it can to recycle 100% of everything it receives. 
  • Securis will continually look for ways to improve e-waste recycling efficiency. 
  • Securis will exceed U.S. federal recycling mandates to comply with the widely adopted international standard. 
  • All downstream processors receiving shredded material from Securis must complete an Agreement for Responsible Disposal of Sensitive Materials. 
  • Currently, all magnetic media is incinerated using the cleanest methods available. Smelting documentation can be provided upon request. 
  • All metal-based material is sent to a domestic-based refinery for refinement based on its content.

boost your ESG ratingBuild a Sustainable Future & Boost Your ESG Score

By embracing compliant, certified, and responsible IT Asset decommissioning and recycling vendors like Securis and adopting responsible e-waste management practices, companies can assure their data security and improve their ESG ratings while contributing to a sustainable future for generations. 

Contact Securis today for more information.

1) https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/03/the-enormous-opportunity-of-e-waste-recycling/#:~:text= Globally%2C%2053.6%20million%20metric%20tons,across%20the%20globe%20each%20year

 

Fairfax County launches solar panel recycling program with Securis

The county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services launched a solar panel recycling program last week, expanding upon its November 2022 pilot program.

Daniel Brooks, an environmental services specialist at the county’s Solid Waste Management Program, said this new program falls under their electronic recycling program, which focuses on prevention.

“Many of these devices contain toxic heavy metals,” Brooks said. “We want to keep that out of the waste stream … and going directly to the landfill to prevent groundwater contamination, amongst other things.”

Brooks said in addition to protecting the environment, this program enables people to repurpose and reuse the materials from solar panels. He also said this program is first of its kind in the region.

“[Recycling programs] started with the West Coast and they were years ahead of us, sometimes up to as much as 20 to 30 years in various areas,” Brooks said. “It’s a very growing service as a renewable energy source.”

Since solar panels are relatively new to the area, responsible disposal is too. Brooks said Fairfax County wanted to get ahead of environmental contamination and started the pilot program in November 2022.

According to a 2022 study by the Pew Research Center, 8% of American homeowners said they already installed solar panels within the past year, the majority of which were in the western part of the nation.

The county partnered with PC Recycler, Inc. dba Securis to to refine the recycling process; at the start of the program, 50 solar panels were taken in to figure out the exact process for responsible and reasonable recycling.

“Wanted to figure out the cost metrics, if it was viable to do in-house [recycling], or if we needed to outsource that, and if we outsource that, what measures did we have with those materials?” Brooks said.

Brooks also said this was one step further toward Fairfax County’s sustainability goals, specifically zero waste. He said he’s hoping the county’s work inspires neighboring counties and towns to do the same.

The program is now available to Fairfax County residents only and two drop-off sites are available: the Interstate 66 Transfer Station and the Interstate 95 Landfill.

This story appears in FFX Now 

Come Visit Securis at Data Center World

Join us at booth #748 at the upcoming Data Center World Event which is being held April 15-18 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.

Data Center World is the only global industry event that combines real-world, practitioner, and thought leader expertise with in-depth research and data, and access to a full spectrum of solution providers driving the data center and digital infrastructure industry forward.

Considering attending? You can save $325 with Promo Code Securis325

Hope to see you there!

How Are Magnetic Hard Drives Shredded?

Quite a few customers have asked us exactly how we shred a hard drive. To help explain this, below are the steps that a magnetic hard drive goes through.

Introduction to the Shredder:

The hard drive is placed into the shredder. Industrial shredders for electronic equipment like hard drives typically have solid and metal-cutting blades. 

Cutting Mechanism:

The blades in the shredder are made of heavy-duty metals, such as hardened steel or tungsten carbide. Depending on the shredder’s design, they are arranged in a crisscross pattern or a spiral or helical arrangement.

Initial Contact and Cutting:

When the magnetic hard drive passes through these blades, the outer casing, usually aluminum or hard plastic for external drives, is first cut. The strength and sharpness of the blades allow them to slice through this material.

hard drive destructionDestruction of the Magnetic Hard Drive’s Internal Components:

As the shredding continues, the blades come into contact with the hard drive’s internal components. This includes the platters (which store the data), the spindle, the read/write arms, and the circuit board. The blades are designed to cut through these materials, breaking them into smaller pieces.

Fragmentation of Platters:

The platters, typically made of aluminum, glass, or ceramic coated with a thin layer of magnetic material, are the most crucial part of data storage. The shredder blades must be strong enough to deform and fragment these platters, making them unreadable.

Discharge of Shredded Material:

The resulting debris, consisting of small metal, plastic, and other materials, is expelled from the shredder. This material is usually collected for disposal or recycling.

magnetic hard drive recyclingEnsuring Data Destruction for Magnetic Hard Drives:

The effectiveness of the shredding process in destroying data is due to the physical deformation and fragmentation of the platters. Since data is stored magnetically on the surface of the platters, their physical destruction renders the data unrecoverable.

The entire process is quite forceful and noisy, requiring robust machinery. The shredders must exert significant force to break down the hard drive’s materials, especially the metal components. The shredder’s design, including the blades’ pattern and strength, is crucial for thoroughly destroying magnetic hard drives. 

Read more about how Securis destroys hard drives here.

 

 

 

What Is R2 Certification in E-Waste Recycling?

R2 certification, established by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), is a global standard for any R2-certified recycler. This certification encompasses environmental, health, safety, quality, and data security standards. It is a hallmark of responsible operation for R2-certified recyclers, ensuring they minimize environmental and health risks.

Why Is Choosing an R2 Certified Recycler Important for E-Waste Recycling?

Opting for an R2-certified recycler is critical in e-waste management. These recyclers are held to stringent standards, ensuring the protection of the environment, human health, and safety. Furthermore, an R2-certified recycler assures data protection, ensuring that any data from end-of-life technology is destroyed correctly.

circular economyHow Does R2 Certification Promote a Circular Economy in Electronics?

R2 certification is essential for recyclers in promoting a circular economy. An R2-certified recycler plays a pivotal role in extending each device’s life through reuse and recycling. This process, endorsed by R2 standards, helps conserve natural resources and ensures responsible electronic waste handling and disposal.

What Risks Are Associated With Non-R2 Certified E-Waste Recyclers?

Recyclers without R2 certification often lack accountability, leading to irresponsible recycling practices. Unlike an R2-certified recycler, they may inadequately protect sensitive data and cause harmful environmental impacts due to the improper disposal of toxic materials.

R2 recyclerHow Can I Verify if a Company Is Truly an R2 Certified Recycler?

To verify a company’s R2 certification, it’s recommended to consult the SERI website. They provide a searchable database to identify R2-certified recyclers based on region or name. This verification is crucial to ensure you are dealing with a genuinely R2-certified recycler and not a company falsely claiming such certification.

What Role Does R2 Certification Play in Data Protection?

For an R2-certified recycler, data protection is a significant aspect of their service. R2 standards ensure that these recyclers effectively destroy any data contained in end-of-life technology. This is a critical consideration in e-waste recycling, particularly for businesses and individuals concerned about data security.

Read more about the certifications and compliance standards that Securis has attained. 

Why Inventory Matters in Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction Policy

In electronics recycling and data destruction, inventory reports plays a pivotal role in ensuring transparency, compliance, and peace of mind for both service providers and their clients. This article delves into the nuances of inventory management, exploring why meticulous record-keeping is indispensable for e-waste and data destruction policy

Filling the Void Left by Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction Services

When companies and government entities engage in electronics recycling and data destruction services, they are often left with a void. This void isn’t physical; rather, it’s the absence of the electronics and data that were once present. Post-service, a critical question often arises: What proof exists of how data was destroyed or where a recycled component ended up?  In scenarios like audits or unforeseen incidents the ability to peer into that void and get solid information can be crucial.

The Significance of  Audit and Inventory Reports Post-Service

The answer lies in the quality of the audit or inventory reports generated after the physical work of decommissioning is completed. This documentation becomes vital, serving as a record of exactly what was done, much like an insurance policy when you need it most, often under less-than-ideal circumstances, which is why we include it as an invaluable part of our e-waste and data destruction policy

What Constitutes Quality Inventory Management in Electronics Recycling?

Quality inventory reports in electronics recycling and data destruction must detail what was collected and what happened to each item. The most valuable data for tracking electronics are serial numbers or asset tags. These unique identifiers make it easy to account for individual items among thousands. Once an item can be identified details about what happened to that item and any associated data can be easily tracked. 

Tracking the Fate of Each Item: From Recycling to Destruction

Secure and comprehensive inventory management should clearly document the disposal process of each item. It’s crucial to record the method of data destruction for data-containing devices, whether it’s shredding, disintegration, or wiping. This information not only ensures compliance but also provides peace of mind to the client.

The Role of Recycled Weight in ESG Reporting

Environmental metrics, particularly recycled weight, are integral to inventory reports. They contribute to a company or agency’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. A good inventory report provides raw data that can be used to support environmental reporting without substituting it.

The Need for Speed: 3 Business Day Policy at Securis

At Securis, we understand the importance of timely inventory reports. Our e-waste and data destruction policy ensures that all inventory reports are completed within 48 hours. Lengthy delays, which are common in the industry, are inefficient and often lead to frustration.

Advantages of Using a Raw CSV File Format

We believe that a raw CSV file is the most effective format for inventory reports. This format allows clients to import the data into any system they choose, offering flexibility and ease of use. Fancy PDFs, while visually appealing, often prove impractical due to their non-manipulable nature.

Lessons Learned: What Works and What Doesn’t

Our two decades of experience in the field have taught us valuable lessons about what is helpful and what is not in the context of electronics recycling and data destruction. These insights, drawn from interactions with both large and small companies and agencies, have shaped our approach to inventory management.

The Unwavering Importance of Inventory Reporting in Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction

Our experience has shown that the importance of inventory reports in electronics recycling and data destruction policy cannot be overstated. It’s the backbone of accountability, transparency, and compliance in this industry. As we move forward, we expect to see continued evolution and innovation in inventory practices, ensuring that they remain robust and reliable.



How to Recycle Batteries for IT Directors

Batteries are not only bad for the environment when we toss them in the trash, but they can be explosive. Varying types of batteries may need to be handled differently. Overall, if you’re an IT Director looking to dispose of batteries, be sure to know these five things about battery recycling.

  1. The risk of improperly disposed of batteries can be extremely dangerous. If lithium-ion batteries touch each other via their connectors, the risk of a fire is massive. Taping up the ends of these batteries is vital to keep them from touching one another. A swollen battery is most at risk of catching fire. This occurs because of excess gasses. Never throw these batteries away. Carefully place them in a container and take them to a specialized recycling facility to ensure proper disposal. 
  2. Batteries can be recycled. While each battery is recycled differently, it’s important to reuse the materials rather than mine for new ones. Surprisingly, when mixed correctly, chemicals like sulfuric acid can be turned into water.  Lead, cadmium, and mercury can negatively impact the environment if they aren’t recycled properly.
  3. Employees need to be educated on the proper disposal of batteries. An uninformed employee may try to release gas in a swollen battery, which could cause a fire or chemical burn. Additionally, by teaching employees how to recycle batteries, your company reduces its carbon footprint.
  4. Responsible recycling is vital. Reputable companies are so important when recycling batteries because non-certified companies may increase legal and/or environmental risks associated with improper disposal. Your existing ITAD company may be able to assist you. If not, it is likely that they will know of a company that they can refer you to!
  5. The legalities of recycling batteries tend to differ on a state-by-state basis. Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, all have state-wide battery recycling requirements in effect. DC, Florida,  Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York require the producers of batteries to offer or fund recycling. 

If you have questions about how we can help you recycle batteries at Securis, please contact us here

What is the Circular Economy?

The circular economy is a sustainable way to reuse and regenerate materials often found in technology, which is not only environmentally friendly but can be an economical solution. As more technology enters the economy, we need to get the most from what is already in the cycle.

This system strives to keep materials, products, and services in circulation for as long as possible. The circular economy helps slow climate change by reducing the number of natural resources extracted (which contributes to nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions). 

circular economy example

The 3 Principles of the Circular Economy

The circular economy has three basic principles: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature. These principles are fundamental when it comes to recycling your electronics.

Eliminate Waste and Pollution

There are many ways to eliminate waste from our everyday lives. Some companies have reduced or changed their packaging to reduce their carbon footprint. At Securis, we ensure equipment is recycled, repurposed, refurbished, or resold in compliance with our R2v3 certification. 

The circular economy’s purpose is to reduce the amount of pollution produced. Mining for natural resources uses lots of greenhouse gas emissions.

Circulate Products and Materials (at their highest value).

Circulating products and materials that have already entered the market reduces the need for new materials. Extracting materials from a product prevents the material from becoming waste. 

This occurs in two cycles: the technical cycle and the biological cycle. The technical cycle focuses on reusing, repairing, remanufacturing, and recycling products. Rather than focusing on how to keep using materials, the biological cycle focuses on returning biodegradable materials to the earth through composting and anaerobic digestion. 

When it comes to e-waste, the focus will heavily be on the technical cycle and retaining the value of products. An item that works is much more beneficial when reused than a pile of the materials that make it up.  Keeping it together helps keep the maximum value. However, when parts break, it may be more beneficial for the value to repair or refurbish. Eventually, technology gets to a place where it can no longer be repaired or used, so instead, it needs to be repurposed or recycled. Materials can be used in other various ways, be that in technology or other products. 

Regenerate Nature

By eliminating the need to mine for new materials, we can help the earth regenerate itself. This is extremely important when it comes to e-waste recycling. With new technology constantly being created, we need to consider how often we are extracting new materials from the earth rather than regenerating what we already have. By focusing on renewable resources and finding a way to use renewable energy, we can help reduce the impact of climate change. 

Why it’s Important for E-Waste Recycling

It’s crucial to keep the circular economy in mind when disposing of your end-of-life equipment. Rather than tossing it in the garbage, ensure you are getting the most out of your unwanted technology. 

For more information on properly disposing of your e-waste, contact us here

Reusing Decommissioned Data Center Equipment

Data centers seem to be popping up everywhere. As they close or upgrade, it’s important to reuse as possible in the data center decommissioning process.

inside a data center

The circular economy has become a critical aspect of the tech industry. This prioritizes things like reuse in data center decommissioning processes. 

What can be reused?

There are many parts of a data center that can be reused. For example, when a data center is shut down, the equipment doesn’t need to go to waste, other facilities can utilize it. 

  • Server hardware like CPUs, RAM, and network interface cards (NICs) do not hold sensitive information, so if they are in working order, they can be reused, refurbished, or resold.
  • Networking equipment like switches, routers, and firewalls can be reused in other data centers. Again, these pieces of equipment do not hold onto data, so they can safely be reused without risking your personal information or data. 
  • Power distribution units (PDUs) can be repurposed for other power distribution applications.
  • Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) provide backup power to data centers and can be reused to provide the same type of power to other data centers. 
  • Cooling systems comprised of fans, air conditioners, and chillers can all be used in other cooling systems that may or may not be related to data centers. 
  • Racks and enclosures like server racks, cabinets, and cable management systems can be utilized in a different data center or other IT equipment. 
  • Copper and fiber optic cabling can be installed in other networks or communication installations. 
  • Security systems are transferable to pretty much any other security applications. 

working in a data center

Ensuring data destruction in EOL equipment

Because data centers hold physical versions of data on hard drives, as long as that information is adequately destroyed, your data is secure. Server hardware, networking equipment, and other various pieces of hardware do not hold information, so they do not need to be destroyed in your end-of-life equipment. 

Hard drives and other data-containing storage devices may need to be destroyed rather than reused. Various forms of data destruction services can provide total data erasure. Degaussing can provide magnetic destruction to hard drives, and shredding can provide physical destruction. 

Decommissioned equipment can hold sensitive data, and by working with a professional, like Securis, you can ensure proper recycling and data destruction protocols will be followed for your decommissioning project. If you or your business need a certificate of destruction for auditing purposes, we can provide that. If you need assistance with your data center decommissioning process, contact us here

Why Businesses Need R2 Certified E-Waste Recycling Companies

If your business is looking for an e-waste recycling company, knowing that not all are created equally is essential. The best practice would be to search for an R2 certified company. R2 certified electronics recycling companies need to follow strict guidelines. When a company is not R2 certified, there is a lack of accountability in the recycling process. This third-party certification process covers more than 50 areas of operational and environmental performance. Not only does this ensure e-waste recyclers protect our environment, but it also protects human health and safety. 

What does an R2 certification mean?

Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) established the R2 certification process. Part of SERI’s mission is to minimize the environmental and health risks posed by used and end-of-life electronics. This global certification addresses the entire supply chain and encompasses environmental, health and safety, quality, and data security standards. 

The idea to facilitate a genuinely circular lifecycle for electronics helps extend each device’s life and reuse any and all components, where possible, prior to recycling. Recycling the materials then reduces the need to mine for new materials, allowing the earth to keep those natural resources. 

Finding an R2 certified company

If you’re looking for an R2 certified company, you are in luck! There are nearly 1,000 facilities across 37 counties. Unfortunately, there has been at least one case of a company faking an R2 certification. 

To avoid this mishap, find or even double-check that your e-waste recycling vendor is R2 certified; you can refer to the SERI website. It’s easy to find a company based on region or name!

Why does it matter?

Uncertified recyclers lack accountability. Not only does an R2 certification protect the environment, but it also ensures data protection as well. An R2 certified company ensures that any data that comes via end-of-life technology is appropriately destroyed.

From start to finish, the R2 process takes on the circular economy and the issues many companies face, including environmental, human health, and social welfare impacts. We know how important it is to reuse. However, irresponsible and illegal transfers happen under the guise of reuse. With an R2 certified company, there is no need to worry about careless transfers. 

Responsible recycling is also a vital part of SERI’s mission. Recycling facilities are helping protect human health and the environment by keeping toxic materials out of landfills.

Overall, if a company is R2 certified, you can rest assured that your data and end-of-life technology will be safe in their hands and reach its complete end-of-life potential. As an R2 certified recycler at Securis, we understand how important this is for the global community. Contact us today to learn more. We’d love to help your company do its part in completing the cycle and staying green!