As new technologies emerge, one should consider what happens to outdated devices after disposal. With more than three-fourths of American supply chains moving toward partial automation, a growing number of legacy and outdated systems find themselves heading to landfills. Indeed, industrialization has been cited as one of the three main factors contributing to over 50 metric tons (Mt) of e-waste produced in 2019. Studies estimate that number should rise to 74.7Mt by 2030 due to the:
- Rising popularity of electronic devices
- Shorter device lifecycles
- Fewer repair choices
Unlike common waste, e-waste poses a serious environmental threat since it leaks toxins that harm surrounding communities. While electronic waste occupies a small fraction of American landfills, it’s responsible for about 70% of overall toxic waste. Nevertheless, less than 20% of e-waste is properly recycled each year. However, new consumer interest in sustainable production is now fueling a need for transparent, sustainable workflows in virtually every industry.
Recent studies indicate that roughly 38% of US consumers do not trust brands’ sustainable practices. However, almost seven in ten shoppers are willing to pay more for environmentally-conscious products and brands. Therefore, to protect brand image and limit environmental impacts, businesses can no longer afford to overlook sustainability within their daily operations. In honor of Earth Day, we are diving into three ways you can modernize technologies while minimizing environmental impacts.
3 Ways Technology Empowers Sustainability
1. Consolidate common tasks through one device. The more devices you deploy per worker, the more devices will need to be upgraded in the future. For example, the typical warehouse picker normally carries a barcode scanner, a two-way radio, and a mobile computer or paper list to verify orders. On the flip side, store associates can carry a walkie-talkie along with a cordless scanner for price checks. It is not uncommon for businesses to deploy a phone and laptop for remote workers despite the similar functionalities modern devices now share. Today’s handheld devices now streamline data capture, embed push-to-talk capabilities, and connect to the internet, reducing the number of deployed devices. Furthermore, digitized data capture and computing erases manual data entry, securing higher accuracy rates and profitability.
2. Ensure recycling is part of your modernization process. Emerging technologies such as A.I. and robotics will naturally disrupt legacy systems. Consequently, decommissioning plans should include a recycling step to ensure devices don’t end up in landfills. Proper disposal and destruction can prevent sensitive data from accidentally leaking in the event of improper data wipes. As your business considers technology upgrades, experts recommend integrating an IT retirement plan for aging devices. POSRG meets this need by providing recycling and experienced data destruction services with R2 and NAID certifications.
3. Verify energy consumption levels for crucial systems. Devices with lower battery capacities hinder productivity while draining more electricity from your facility. Low latency and multiple connectivity options will optimize battery lifespan. Battery management applications such as Zebra’s PowerPrecision+ allow you to monitor battery health remotely and effectively remove aging batteries instead of decommissioning handhelds.
Celebrate Earth Day with the GO Zebra Trade-In Program and POSRG
In our commitment to sustainability, POSRG continues its partnership with Zebra by facilitating upgrades and recycling through the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Deploy next-generation devices while trading in outdated systems and preventing e-waste from reaching landfills. Simply:
- Purchase an eligible upgrade.
- Send your claim form within 90 days of the invoice date.
- Trade in devices from any manufacturer and get cash back rebates to use toward your upgrade.
For enterprise-grade devices and other forms of e-waste, POSRG provides additional comprehensive, certified, and secure IT asset disposition services.
Modernization shouldn’t be the culprit behind toxic waste. As automated systems continue to mature, businesses can create upgrade plans that embrace new beneficial technologies while protecting the planet.