Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 26 | Page 84

Deploying circular IT methodologies represents the third action on a three-stage tier for data centers keen to deliver on their environmental tech promises .
Ian Shearer , Managing Director , APAC and EMEA , Park Place
Technologies warranty support and even longer with End of Service Life support , with the appropriate optimization tweaks keeping performance levels assured .
So , what does using a Circular Economy in the data center actually mean in practice ? At its very core is the desire to come as close to zero wastage for IT equipment as is possible , meaning that existing data center hardware , networking and cabling should be kept in use for as long as possible .
Circular adherence positively encourages IT leaders to look towards active hardware reuse to create a looping procurement chain with sustainability top of mind with every hardware asset .
Why ? Even before it is unboxed , every brand-new data center asset already comes with acres of energy loss and increased carbon footprint stamped already gained within its production life cycle .
This energy loss could be attributed from the sourcing and mining of critical raw materials often from remote and hard-to-access locations in the world , or from the sheer energy overhead of adding components in the product manufacturing line .
( Not neglecting the land-fill waste implications for the redundant e-waste kit , most of which is then shipped onwards , often to developing countries to process and dump – around 50 metric tonnes globally according to the UN ’ s Global E-waste Monitor ).
Which are the most used precious raw materials that need mining for data center hardware ? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency , the list is pretty extensive . Gold ; a great electricity conductor , remains a key part of most circuit boards .
Power supplies have iron ore inside . Silver and palladium make up further components of many circuit boards . Steel makes up part of the outer casing . Gold-plated pins and connectors run throughout the machine . Copper makes up the connective wires . In displays , dwindling supplies of the metal Indium actually threatens long-term production of LCDs .
The depletion of these precious raw materials is where the rules of circular IT procurement really reap rewards through material recovery processes . Consider then the impact at IT asset disposal stage , where to avoid more e-waste , trusted suppliers could offer material recovery practices allowing precious materials to go back into manufacturing streams and once again become part of the technology manufacturing process . Repurposing and advanced recycling should be considered as part of circular IT . Again , specialists in IT Asset Disposal ( ITAD ) and resale must be used in order to access optimal supply and pricing – sourced right across the globe . Often this involves tapping into an ITAD specialist provider ’ s pre-owned marketplace by either selling or buying up assets that remain fit for purpose , or by repurposing existing assets for intelligent , extended use elsewhere .
Then , factor in the shipping energy overhead , plus once in situ , the pre-production testing demands .
The gains that IT leaders can recognize in the reusable market are significant , saving budget alongside the earth ’ s fast depleting resources . Digital innovation moves at a far greater pace than other industries – sometimes leading to technology becoming quicky outpaced . But equally , for circular efforts , this means IT can often consider reuse of very modern assets , sometimes simply Gen-1 equipment , sourced from those still working under vendor linear practices .
Closing the life cycle loop and offering the most secure , sustainable way of data centers achieving net zero goals means careful planning and delivery across every part of the journey . This usually happens alongside a trusted third party that can advise on the entire position of the estate ; ascertaining holistically what can be reused , repurposed , material recovered , resold , or recycled . Circularity isn ’ t going away . Disposable IT , however , is . p
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