COVID-19 and the Global E-Waste Crisis

The once traditional office space has turned into a deserted area, as numerous employers have chosen to shift their employees to remote settings due to the impacts of COVID-19. With this shift, many have adapted to remote work environments—using their laptops, second screens and other technology from the comfort of their home. But what about the unneeded technology that did not become a part of these new home offices?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, “We were generating 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste (e-waste) globally every year, but with large volumes of technology no longer deemed necessary and working from home here to stay, businesses have a bigger responsibility than ever to use and dispose of IT sustainably.” (Carmen Ene, IT Pro Portal, 2021).

Environmental Concerns of Remote Work

At the beginning of the pandemic, employers provided more technology to their employees so they could complete their daily responsibilities effectively from home. In doing so, there was still a level of uncertainty regarding the responsible disposal of obsolete devices.

“We know that 84 percent of companies purchased additional hardware for employees to work from home during the pandemic, with IT investments switching focus to support a new mobile workforce.” (Carmen Ene, IT Pro Portal, 2021). However, as remote work has become the new norm, what will happen to the large number of tech devices that are still sitting in office spaces?

“One in ten businesses admit to dumping old IT assets in landfill and a quarter (26 percent) will lock old or broken IT assets away until they know what to do with them. Just two-thirds (63 percent) of IT leaders currently know where their e-waste ends up.” (Carmen Ene, IT Pro Portal, 2021).

Sustainable Technology Methods

Global e-waste concerns are climbing as a result of COVID-19 impacts. Many businesses are recognizing the issue surrounding electronic waste and have begun to implement sustainable IT practices. Instead of conventional practices where technology is bought, used and disposed of, businesses are starting to reuse devices rather than sending them to a landfill.

Minimize E-Waste with Lifespan

Lifespan provides ITAD solutions for remote work. This is carried out with robust reverse logistics and redeployment, to service the growing amount of technology that is needing retirement. We do ITAD right! Talk to us today.

To learn more about COVID-19’s impact on the global e-waste crisis, read this article

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