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Asset Recovery on the Rise
July 24, 2007, 3:42 pm
Filed under: General Environment

In late 2000, Union Bank of California concluded that it was time to refresh its desktop PCs every four years and some IT equipment as often as every 2. This meant that 200 PCs as well as countless network hardware appliances would have to be retired every month. Unfortunately, there was no strategy in place for the task, or even a designated person or department to manage the systems.

“Until then, there was no process for disposing of PCs,” says Julie LeDuc, IT group purchasing manager at Union Bank. “Each department would do its own thing, either storing them in warehouses, saving them for contingency purposes or simply disposing of them.”

With a mandated company policy of environmental friendliness and the rumblings of the Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley acts, LeDuc knew the company couldn’t simply have the machines shipped to the local junkyard where anyone could harvest them for sensitive data. It was time for a corporate asset-recovery strategy to ensure that the machines were retired in a secure and eco-friendly manner.

Union Bank is ahead of the curve simply for considering a turnkey asset-recovery solution. The fact is, e-waste is a major growing concern globally, and whether or not you care, soon you will not have a choice. Legislation is already under way to make appropriate disposal od IT equipment part of the “Law”. Furthermore, if done properly, you may realize a decent return on your investment when companies bid for your used equipment for the purposes of remarketing and selling it through growing secondary market channels. There are other benefits as well, including the appropriate destruction of your proprietary and confidential data.

It can be tempting to look at asset recovery as a cost and choose the least expensive vendor as an asset-recovery partner. However, experts agree that reducing risk should be the primary criterion when devising a strategy: the risk of fines, lawsuits or damaged reputation. That’s why in large corporations, increasingly, responsibility for asset-recovery has moved beyond the department level and the IT division to the CXO level — often to the CIO, chief financial officer or even CEO. It makes sense for companies to have a centralized recovery strategy so that one department doesn’t get the entire organization in trouble with the law or the media.

There are many organizations that offer a suite of custom products and services surrounding asset recovery. Here are just a few offered by Digital Warehouse inc.

• Cash Buy-Back (Buy-back Program)
• Exchange for Newer Technology (Exchange Program)
• Straight Consignment (Consignment Program)
• Revenue Sharing (Base + Split GP) (Revenue Sharing
• Redeployment
• Donation
• Recycling
• Destruction

Whatever approach your company ends up taking to IT asset recovery, the benefits are clear: Organizations stand to gain peace of mind that the data on their retired systems won’t fall into the wrong hands, can realize a higher ROI on their hardware investments and will get a jump start on forthcoming e-waste legislation. The environmental benefits are green icing on the cake.

Taken from: ComputerWorld.com

For a comprehensive list of companies who have IT Asset Recovery programs visit Bradreese.com

Reuse…Save up to 90% off list price and save the environment too when you shop at UsedCisco.com

By Joshua Levitt
E-Commerce Sales and Marketing Manager for UsedCisco.com

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Beef With ‘Green Consumerism’
July 5, 2007, 5:17 pm
Filed under: General Environment

Paul Hawken, an author and longtime environmental activist, claimed the current boom in earth-friendly products offers a false promise. “Green consumerism is an oxymoronic phrase,” he said. He blamed the news media and marketers for turning environmentalism into fashion and distracting from serious issues.

A recent study showed that 35 million Americans regularly buy products that claim to be earth-friendly. So what is the problem, you ask?

The problem is that the common mindset right now holds that all we’re going to need to do to avert a large-scale planetary catastrophe is make slightly different shopping decisions, when in fact, our consumption culture is the real problem. Consumers assume that by buying anything, whether green or not, we’re solving the global warming problem. This belief is a misperception, and does not have any effect on our consumption habits.

Americans in particular are notorious consumers. Did you know that Americans consume 24% of the world’s energy but constitute only 5% of the world’s population? I guess you can say that we are hogging all the resources, literally. Where is the focus on consumption? We cannot buy our way into global cooling. The fact is; we need to consume less, period. For instance, instead of buying five pairs of organic hemp jeans, we could just as easily learn to buy one pair of regular jeans and be happy.

The fact is, climate change is more caused by politics and the economy than individual behavior; it has nothing to do with what we buy, it has to do with how much we buy, as well as things like mass transit, housing density, the war and subsidies for the coal and fossil fuel industry. Therefore, it is understandable why some critics hold that trendy green consumption is a distraction from the real problem.

But what about awareness, isn’t that important? I, for one, believe that we need to move in baby steps. I think it’s great that ‘green’ is fashionable. The more people that dress the proverbial part, the more likely they are to learn and act on the real issues.

Do you agree with these opinions, do you think green trends with no focus on consumption cuts is a good start, or merely a distraction?

Taken from: The New York Times

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By Joshua Levitt
E-Commerce Sales and Marketing Manager for UsedCisco.com

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The WEEE Opportunity
June 11, 2007, 10:09 am
Filed under: General Environment

WEEE, the “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive”, became European Law in February 2003, setting collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods.

“Many businesses simply view it as too complicated to deal with and resist compliancy until the last moment or until they are hit with a fine”. In fact, a poll on the issue of environmentally-friendly IT has discovered that fewer than four in 10 IT managers are currently aware of the WEEE directive’s implications and its requirements.

There are a wealth of opportunities to be made from the directive, such as through recycling services, training and hardware replacements or upgrades.
Any Google search for “WEEE+VAR” quickly reveals the multitude of resellers now offering services based around the WEEE directive. Here are just a few, please feel free to add to this list:

– Collection and environmentally-friendly disposal of end-of-life IT hardware
– Sell the required WEEE-compliant hardware
– Asset management services to market bundled services that provide for multiple forms of data and hardware destruction.
– Training centres for the WEEE directive, helping businesses to understand and become compliant with the directive.

Taken From onrec.com

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Joshua Levitt

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I am on Technorati
June 7, 2007, 11:57 am
Filed under: General Environment

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Breaking Our Love Affair With the New
June 4, 2007, 5:00 pm
Filed under: General Environment

“There is a new breed of consumers interested in refurbished and refreshed goods. This trend is not purely driven by value, but by a desire to protect the environment.” Marketing Week – Lucy Richardson.

In July, the electrical and electronic industry will become responsible for the cost of collection, treatment and recycling of their equipment. We are likely to see this spread to other sectors where future legislation will likely include recycling and sustainable design within its jurisdiction.

Therefore, in the not so distant future, brands will begin substituting non-recyclable ingredients for more suitable elements, overhauling their supply chain to deliver more recyclable items and generally extending their product lifecycles to meet these needs.

It’s a huge undertaking so perhaps we will see industry collaboration to create recyclable raw materials or even joint manufacturing plants. This in turn presents a huge marketing opportunity to break our love affair with the new. Provided vendors and distributors can offer refurbished products with a significant warranty period, the opportunities are limitless.

Examples:
1. eBay (with its 200 million users worldwide) reflects the growth of the recycled goods market. EBay sells one car and one laptop every two minutes, while an item of women’s clothing sells every seven seconds.
2. Used car showrooms are popping up everywhere.
3. Reconditioned, household appliances like fridges, are now available alongside newer models, neatly accepting responsibility for recycling as well as answering a consumer demand.

4. High street furniture and clothing stores offer a similar service by refurbishing or even redesigning items to be exchanged or resold.

5. Freecycle, a grassroots, not-for-profit movement swaps goods within communities.

6. Online services such as Cahooting and People’s Web enable consumers to rent or borrow items from one another.

There is an opportunity to design products and brands to be kept rather than replaced. In technology, we need to break the “upgrade culture”, which sees phones and PCs replaced frequently. The same is true in fashion, where the likes of Primark and supermarket chains have spawned a culture of fast, throw-away fashion.
Instead, marketers should consider product innovation with a “Design for Life” approach to extend your product lifecycle. Could your product evolve to become something else of value? Could your products be made more durable to last longer with built-in repair/servicing programs?
On an emotional level, marketers need to find ways of creating emotional connections with objects so we keep them for longer. Walter Stahel, visiting Professor of the University of Surrey calls this the “teddy bear factor”: no matter how worn out, you don’t throw your teddy bear out as it is an emotional link to childhood. The “Ikea-isation” of the home furnishings sector means that we no longer hand down treasured pieces of furniture to our children.
Reuse…Save up to 90% off list price and save the environment too when you shop at UsedCisco.com

Taken from “>Marketing Week