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Data Security Outweighs Carbon Footprint in U.S. E-Waste Programs

AssetDisposalGoalsNearly 17 percent more medium and large companies were securely managing millions of tons of discarded computer hardware in 2009, according to a new study from Converge and Osterman Research. The study finds that nearly 84 percent of respondents have controls in place to properly handle end-of-life IT assets.

The report, “2010 Converge ITAD Trends Report,” finds that virtually all U.S. companies are aware of the need for IT asset disposition (ITAD), but strategies for dealing with asset disposal vary widely among companies.

The top priority and primary driver for ITAD compliance efforts remains data security for the second consecutive year. This was outranked by compliance with external environmental laws and compliance with their company’s own “green” IT strategy, according to the report.

The report also reveals that as concerns for digital fingerprints or data security grows, compliance to green programs may take a hit. However, 33 percent of respondents said their organizations have carbon footprint projects in place, up from 21 percent last year, despite more organizations — 57 percent versus 54 percent last year — stating they have no plans to measure carbon footprint.

The survey also indicates that more companies need IT disposition services. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that they are storing materials until a solution is found, and about 13 percent still dispose of old hardware by throwing it in the dumpster.

Companies also identified global delivery resources as a key component to their IT asset disposal program. Nearly two-thirds of respondents rated a “global service delivery model” as being somewhat or very important to their organization.

Still, several partnerships have been launched in the past year aimed at providing responsible recycling programs for consumers and businesses.

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