Circular Economy, Features

HPE is helping businesses quantify the value of retired IT assets

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will be bringing its circular economy solutions to Australia for the first time to provide its customers with an overview of the value of their retired assets and quantify the environmental impacts and savings achieved from their IT asset lifecycle solutions, which can be incorporated into their corporate reporting.

At HPE, it’s a business imperative to create a circular economy that eliminates waste, as the world’s growing demand to gather and compute enormous amounts of data will consume energy and materials at unprecedented rates. HPE aims to drive more efficient use of this and manage businesses IT assets in a secure, compliant and environmentally responsible manner.

Reducing waste and maximising the value of resources throughout the product lifecycle is key to HPE’s circular economy approach, which has resulted in new services and capabilities that enable customers to maximise their financial and environmental savings.

“It’s estimated there will be 50 million tonnes of e-waste created this year around the globe. Datacentre products are a part of that, and HPE is taking a lead to make sure that we minimise the environmental impact of our products,” said David Garrels, marketing and communications manager, HPE.

“Our customers are becoming more attuned to the problem and are looking for partners that have the scale, global reach, and secure processes and procedures to ensure that products they entrust to use, are handled responsibly. We see it as a big part of our mission – to advance the way people live and work.

“Our Design for Environment initiatives are focused at the beginning of a products’ life. We look at materials that are environmentally-friendly and responsibly-sourced, minimise power and cooling requirements, and of course, have recyclable properties when they do finally reach the end of their useful life.”

HPE’s circular economy approach outlines how participation in the company’s end-of-use management programs help address the social and environmental impacts of rapid innovations. By refurbishing and recycling retired IT products, a company can contribute to a circular economy that returns value to a business, while helping to meet its sustainability goals.

Two principle solutions are provided – the first being the Asset Upcycling Service, where HPE work with customers to bring back their end-of-use assets and put them through its global Technology Renewal process to refurbish and remarket them where possible. Second is the Certified Pre-Owned Products solution, in which customers can take advantage of products that have been given a second life.

“We quantify what type of assets are reused versus recycled, and it starts to help clients look at how that links to how their business is helping the environment and links it back to their IT usage and what happens with these assets at the end-of-life,” said Gopi Jayachandran, IT asset upcycling solution lead (Australia & New Zealand), HPE.

“All of the clients that we talk to across Australia and New Zealand are always looking to do the right thing and to improve on the way they operate. We found that we can easily have conversations with them around the circular economy and what to do with their old IT equipment, as everyone is looking for ideas on what better they can do in this space.

“One of the things that we are looking at doing is helping the IT sector to link not only how these assets support the business to grow, but also how it links in to those sustainability and corporate responsibility groups within the organisation to plug in and help those initiatives thrive and grow.”

The rapid pace of innovation in electronic products and growing impacts of the traditional ‘take, make, dispose’ production and consumption cycle are increasing the need for the sector to transition to a circular economy.

From a business point of view, Jayachandran stated that one of the major challenges the industry faced is that the larger the organisation, the harder it becomes to manage and mitigate those risks associated with IT assets, due to there being more to manage.

“We encourage organisations to look at a consistent, enterprise-wide, standardised and tightly controlled approach to dealing with all of and organisation’s IT assets, regardless of what brand they are,” Jayachandran said.

“HPE practices what it preaches. Our solution is something that we have established for many decades now and not only is it something that we offer our clients, but it is a process that we use internally within our own business for our own assets.

“We’ll continue to develop, implement and enhance our solutions in this area, as well as using our network and partner ecosystem to further connect with clients and help evangelise and lead the way in this area and make the circular economy a key part of all decision-making.”