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Untying the Circular Knot - The DCA

Charlie Collett, Content Writer Oct 24, 2019

Astrid Wynne, Sustainability Manager at Techbuyer was recently asked to discuss the material cost of our increasingly digitalised society. In this feature, Astrid outlines the environmental impact of data centres and its IT hardware, the rise of data heavy technologies, and ways to extend the product life of technologies and reduce the use of virgin materials. The article was published in The Data Centre Management’s Buyer’s Guide 2019 in association with the Data Centre Trade Association (DCA) in Autumn 2019. The feature was also shared on Techerati's website in late September 2019.

Article summary:

  • Astrid Wynne, Techbuyer Sustainability Manager explains that “Energy usage and greenhouse gases are increasing in the technology sector faster than most. A significant proportion of this is embodied energy in the hardware, which accounts for roughly 50% of overall impact.”
  • Whilst we have previously focused on the energy draw of data centres, Astrid states that “the use phase is only part of the story”. More people are beginning to recognise that the energy needed to make data centres and IT hardware, paired with our increased use of digital, is a significant contributing factor to the IT industry’s environmental impact.
  • “Data heavy technologies like Skype or video streaming are almost free of cost for the end user,” Astrid comments. “Little wonder then that our use and transmission of data is exploding along with the number of devices we have per household in the developed world.”
  • Steps are being taken to reduce the material cost of digital within the data centre. CEDaCI’s three-year project will bring academics, industry experts and designers together to increase the amount of Critical Raw Materials (CRM) that are recovered, increase the reuse of equipment, and to create solid data on the amount of waste generated by data centres.

At Techbuyer, ensuring quality technology is used for as long as possible is at the core of our business. Our refurbishment process means that IT hardware is not unnecessarily sent to landfill and that raw materials are reused. This also alleviates the need to source raw materials to make new equipment. All our IT solutions come with a three year warranty, are securely data sanitised and come at a much lower cost than new. For press enquiries, please contact [email protected].

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