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How can the Channel Embrace Earth Day?

Written by David Nelson, Sales Director Trade-In Services – EMEA at Tech Data

April 22nd is Earth Day. Celebrated for over 50 years, the day and the global movement behind it aims to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.”

This year’s theme of investing in the planet resonates with business. When the challenges seem so insurmountable, how commercial organisations can unite with others to make a practical contribution to environmental progress makes sense.

But, how can technology businesses in the channel get involved?

The growing problem of electronic waste is a challenge where we can invest our efforts productively. Less than one fifth is properly collected and recycled globally. Even in regions like Europe where there are better processes in place, too much of the e-waste is dumped in other nations in Africa and elsewhere.

The technology channel can play a crucial role in helping business customers who want to invest in the planet but are daunted by the challenges. Good channel partners know their customers well and deliver great value in terms of products and services; there is an opportunity to add in environmental services that improve sustainability.

The recycling of mobile handsets, tablets, Apple Macs and Microsoft Surface, and other devices for reuse is a great place to start to tackle e-waste. Many in the channel want to get involved in this but have been put off by the necessary regulatory steps needed to avoid undocumented dumping of e-waste, and the need to wipe devices to make them suitable for re-use and re-sale.

These obstacles to ending e-waste associated with dumped devices can be avoided, thanks to schemes like Tech Data Renew. The service works for channel partners with both consumer and business customers who want to do the right thing when getting a new device and avoid simply binning the old one.

To ensure there are no obstacles to recycling either a one off or fleet of devices, the entire device trade-in process – from real-time quoting for a single device (or multiple devices), order tracking, to secure shipping – is taken care of. It provides certified data erasure and environmental accreditation so customers can trade-in with complete confidence. Tech Data Renew collects and cleans the device, which is data wiped and the certifications are then shared with customers for reference. Each unit is graded, the majority are classed as grade C and either put it in a box and resold or placed onto a pallet to sell.

The volume of devices that potentially could become e-waste dumped in Europe or overseas is being significantly reduced by this and other services. By Earth Day 2022, the one service will be on course to have processed hundreds of thousands of smartphones, smart watches and tablets. When 2022 ends, Tech Data estimates at least a million devices will have been recycled. In fact, the tally could be higher as last year the volume increased by 300%.

Tech Data is really proud of how they are helping the channel find a second life for their and their customer’s mobile products. They are in turn helping major organisations like the Metropolitan Police and Oxfam invest in the planet too.