Here’s how to take action on your sustainability policy and achieve your corporate e-recycling goals
Establishing sustainability goals has become second nature to most companies. Some of you may have entire departments dedicated to sustainable practices, while others may have hired a director to take charge of anything environmental. The challenging part is often what comes next: translating the goals into action. That is particularly true for corporate e-recycling.
It’s often one thing to pledge to pursue a zero-landfill objective, and a whole other to work out a step-by-step plan to achieve the goal. Navigating the multi-level regulations for the safe disposal of electronics can be daunting, especially when hefty fines and the risk of security breaches could be the price for getting it wrong. But as we tell the companies that reach out to us for help, corporate e-recycling is not as complicated as you may think.
In this post, we’ll outline the basic process of how we create and execute a trackable, compliant corporate e-recycling plan for our clients.
1. Getting started
So, you have equipment you no longer need. Whether it’s a software upgrade that has made all company smartphones obsolete, computers that have run their course, or damaged electronic equipment not worth repairing, the question is what to do next?
If you’re anything like the companies we often talk to, meeting all regulatory requirements is a major concern. Even with a sustainability department to back them up, most companies don’t have the bandwidth to get into the minutiae of federal, state, and local regulations as well as agency programs that govern and support corporate e-waste recycling programs. With regulations and reporting requirements changing as you cross state lines, it’s not surprising if the task may seem too time-consuming to undertake yourself.
When questions mount and the answers appear elusive, many companies elect to enlist an expert that can take the work off their hands. Who should you report to? The state or the county? Both? What data points need to be included? How should the data be presented?
What we do
The initial set up typically involves the following steps:
- Identify your goals. Since we are here to help you meet your goals, our work is built on the answer to this question: What is your single biggest challenge and what do you want to see from us? If a review of your sustainability policy shows zero waste is the most important metric to your organization, we will put our efforts there.
- Review regulations and pricing: How do the regulations apply to your equipment and location? What are the steps needed to comply along the way? Are there surcharges or other fees that you should be aware of? We use this review to align the regulations, which vary widely depending on the state and commodity, with not only your objectives but the R2 standard for responsible recycling.
- Provide reporting examples: Aside from questions about data security, many companies also want to get a picture of how the reporting requirements will be fulfilled. Our long history in B2B electronics recycling gives us plenty of examples to pull from to showcase the range of automated reports that can be generated to satisfy government entities at all levels.
- Present plan: We want you to know what to expect. Based on everything we have learned about your organization and needs, we create a plan that shows what is to come, from pickup to the release of final reports.
2. Exchanging information
Unclear directions and no-show trucks can turn the pick up of your obsolete equipment into a headache. We remove the uncertainty by establishing shared drives for easy exchange of information and create a dedicated pick-up request link tailored to your needs. The latter works particularly well for those of you who want to collect certain data, like purchase order numbers. In some instances, we also design a web page where we post your reports, test forms, and status updates.
3. Presenting the data
Not only do different departments of your company — security, finance, sustainability — have different reporting needs, the government also sets parameters that you need to meet. It all requires meticulous attention to detail and organization to allow you to extract exactly what each entity demands.
We once again put the focus on making it easy for you by delivering multiple reports and tables, at a glance. From the raw data, we also pull information on the percentages of your equipment that has been remarketed, repurposed, or sent to a landfill for accessible viewing. As we know some organizations also value being able to review the raw data themselves, we always include an Excel sheet with all requested parameters.
Corporate e-recycling does not have to be as complex as you may think. If you want an end-to-end plan or a few words of advice, we are here to help.