Each year, Recycle Awareness Week is celebrated from September 18th to 24th. Founded by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), this week-long, global holiday is a great chance for people from all walks of life to come together to support recycling and be more environmentally conscious. As a company with clients and teams all over the world, Conduent is committed to reducing the overall environmental footprint of our operations, including recycling paper within our print and mail facilities and responsibly disposing of e-waste across all our locations. Since 2017, we have recycled over 85.3 million pounds of paper-based materials along with hundreds of thousands of pieces of e-waste.
With these practices, we seek to reduce our contribution to landfills and end-of-life waste streams in the communities where we work and live. Here are just a few things we have been up to as we continue to improve our recycling processes and reduce our global footprint.
Plastic Bottle Recycling Program –– Jamaica
Recently, our associates in Jamaica took part in a plastic bottle recycling initiative in partnership with Recycling Partners of Jamaica. Last year, the team began placing bins and branded storage cages for the disposal of plastic waste in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner. Associates in our five sites at Montego Bay, Portmore and Kingston voluntarily contribute to the ongoing plastic bottle recycling program, placing plastic bottles in bins which are later moved to large cages ultimately collected by our recycling partners. It is one of the ways we are helping to keep the country clean.
Reducing e-waste and consolidating our footprint
If a piece of equipment cannot be reused, we are committed to disposing of it responsibly. In 2019, we founded the Data Center Optimization Program (DCOP) as part of an ongoing effort to improve waste management and expand our recycling efforts. As part of our IT function, the DCOP has an ongoing goal to help consolidate 20% – 30% of our electronic footprint.
The DCOP evaluates all our electronic equipment on a three to seven-year lifecycle and we try to refurbish and reuse as much as we can. 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. We also source our equipment from a vendor that is committed to sustainability and decreasing their environmental impact. Since its inception, the DCOP has migrated 27 data centers down to just three and retired 9,351 servers in 2022 alone.
As a result of this consolidation effort, the DCOP helped recycle 43,264 total items of e-waste last year while integrating environmental considerations into our strategic planning for data center needs.
Printing and delivering statements and information is an essential service we provide to our clients and their end users. We continue to find ways to make our operations more efficient, automate processes and recycle as much as possible. In the U.S., we partner with third-party vendors for secure office shredding and recycling. Both vendors commit that 100% of secure office shredding is recycled. Additionally, all our print and mail (production) facilities track recycling in addition to normal office shredding.
Recycling Awareness Week helps to increase awareness so that people not only recycle more, but also make the right choices with regard to recycling. The above are just some of the ways Conduent seeks to improve our impact on the environment not just for Recycling Awareness Week, but every day. We are always on the lookout for more ways to reduce waste and recycle as we manage our global footprint. You can learn more about our initiatives and ESG strategy by visiting our corporate social responsibility page.