Slimming down our IT waste

How we dispose of electronic waste

Nothing lasts forever - that’s especially true when it comes to technology. These days, laptops, notebooks, smartphones, tablets, PCs, TFT monitors, and printers are being used for a few years only before they get replaced. As a consequence, the number of obsolete devices is constantly growing. In the interest of reducing waste and saving raw materials, European standards and national regulations require used technology products to be channeled into IT remarketing. Eco-friendly and sustainable methods to process old IT equipment have become the norm.

For many years, we at Software AG in Germany have been collaborating with certified IT waste-disposal specialists. Most of them have evolved over time to adapt to new rules and regulations – and competition. Our current service provider for the disposal of personal equipment (laptops, phones, etc), DELIT AG, offers full-service from collection to destruction – and this all over the EU and in conformity to the respective rules and regulations. Their business is built on four pillars: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the German Data Protection Act (BDSG), and the principles of Green IT and Sustainability. Moreover, the company is one of the few German businesses in their branch holding an ISO 27001 certification, the gold standard when it comes to data-erasure technology. Their processes fully comply to applicable law, are certified and audit-proof. And we work with them because their safety assurance and monitoring approach is unique in Germany. They corroborate their high service and process level through certificates: Apart from ISO 27001, they also are certified for ISO 45001, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, plus they hold a data protection certification in accordance with BSI Guidelines. They destroy data carriers irrevocably if required and put old systems to new use where it makes sense economically and ecologically.

Even if it seems like a waste of raw materials, sometimes the physical destruction of data carriers is unavoidable, for example, due to strict data-security requirements. These devices must undergo a certified destruction process, which our service provider performs on their premises in accordance with the German Data Protection Act, DIN 66399, protection rating 3 (maximum requirement) and security level H5. Each step of the disposal process is documented with photos, collected materials are sealed in containers on the premises and transported to the disposal site, devices are tagged and each step documented, destruction / deletion are certified, and the whole process is logged from collection to destruction / deletion & resale. The data erasure protocols contain all information relevant to data protection and are created and may be reviewed per data carrier.

Our service provider for non-personal equipment in Germany, Electrocycling GmbH, works much in the same way. They are a certified recycler of old electronic devices and offer a closed service and recycling system under consideration of all legal standards, in conformity with the law, environmentally friendly and sustainable. With about 4,000 tons of old electronic devices per month, they are one of the most efficient recyclers in this industry.

Our office IT equipment is mainly purchased from DELL Technologies. Their products are TCO certified and aligned with other international standards, among them the Energy Star rating system and the EPEAT registry.