March 18th marks the fifth Global Recycling Day and we have a lot to celebrate this year at Conduent – especially when it comes to expanding our paper and e-waste recycling practices. As a company with approximately 60,000 team members across 24 countries, we are committed to environmental and social responsibility initiatives because we know they impact and benefit more than just us, but also our clients and the millions of people who count on them every day.
What is E-Waste?
E-waste is any electronic product nearing the end of its useful lifecycle. If a piece of equipment cannot be reused, we are committed to disposing of it responsibly. The Conduent IT team has a goal to consolidate at least 20% - 30% of the company’s electronic footprint to promote efficiency, tech stability, improve uptime and help protect our planet. Overall, our team’s approach revolves around three main principles: simplify, optimize and automate. Recycling e-waste is a key part of that initiative and includes everything from responsibly disposing of old devices, cables, chargers and more for our team members, to other important initiatives such as:
- Eliminating unused servers that take up unneeded power.
- Increasing virtualization, which allows us to run multiple virtual computers, operating systems, and applications on a single physical server that takes up less real estate and energy.
- Migrating legacy workloads to facilities that use renewable energy and energy efficient IT equipment.
Diverting Waste Responsibly
At Conduent, we evaluate all our electronic equipment on a three-to-seven-year lifecycle and try to refurbish and reuse as much as we can. By redeploying used equipment in 2021, we generated significant savings. When we can’t repurpose equipment, we ensure the safe disposal of e-waste by partnering with secure providers that safely destroy identifying information and return usable resources to the electronic industry manufacturing stream.
2021 Key Recycling Initiative
In my view, the biggest achievement in 2021 in support of e-waste management was being able to recycle and refurbish over 7,000 pieces of electronic equipment in the U.S. alone.
This major accomplishment was, in part, the result of a multi-year data center migration project to state-of-the-art facilities. Due to the size and sensitivity of some older equipment, an organization would typically move a maximum of two centers in a three-year period. At Conduent, our teams were able to move and consolidate 27 data centers in that time, 17 of which occurred last year. This has helped not just our recycling efforts, but also has significantly reduced our company’s physical server space to fewer facilities and reduced our overall energy usage and carbon footprint.
53M pounds of recycled material since 2017
Beyond e-waste, Conduent also prioritizes paper recycling because delivering information and statements is such an essential part of what we do. And thanks to technological advances and seamless connectivity, more and more of our clients and their customers are switching to electronic billing and correspondence, which decreases the amount of actual paper being sent and needing to be recycled at all. In the meantime, we maintain a sharp focus on the amount of paper recycled in both our office and production facilities.
These are just a few ways Conduent seeks to improve environmental performance, not just for Global Recycling Day, but every day. We are always on the lookout for more ways to recycle, reduce waste and energy consumption to manage our overall global footprint. You can learn more about our initiatives and environmental policy by visiting our corporate social responsibility page.
About the AuthorMore Content by Brian Humphreys