The technology center in Skien in Norway is an important driver of the circular economy at CHG-MERIDIAN. Much like at the site in Gross-Gerau in Germany, used equipment is refurbished here and prepared for further use. This is how the end of the IT lifecycle becomes a new beginning.
When it comes to protecting the environment, Norway has long been streets ahead of its European neighbors. The country still leads the way in the generation of electricity from renewable energies and in electric-powered transport. The growing demand for refurbishing services at the site in Skien has highlighted how companies are increasingly focusing on sustainability when it comes to IT infrastructure, procurement, and disposal processes, for example.
“Improving their environmental footprint and their CO₂ emissions is currently at the top of many companies’ agendas. As the environmental benefits of reusing IT equipment are many times greater than those of recycling, demand for sustainable end-of-lifecycle management is growing.”
GISLE SKOGLUND ANDERSEN, GENERAL MANAGER OF CHG-MERIDIAN, SKIEN
It comes as no surprise that the IT experts in Skien are processing and refurbishing a continually increasing volume of assets. Whenever possible, equipment is given a second lifecycle, with only hopeless cases sent for recycling. “Our focus is on remarketing. According to the United Nations, producing a desktop PC generates 700 kilograms of CO₂, so it is twenty times better for the environment to use it a second time than to recycle it,” says Jan-Thore Johnson, Senior Technical Sales at CHG-MERIDIAN in Skien. “Across the CHG-MERIDIAN Group, 96 percent of assets are refurbished. Equipment that cannot be remarketed is recycled in a professional and environmentally responsible way. For this, we only use certified partners who like us attach great importance to returning the recovered resources to the material cycle.”
When it comes to remarketing, the security of the data stored on the used assets is a highly sensitive matter. To ensure that the data stays out of the wrong hands, the specialists go much further than merely formatting storage media or resetting devices to their factory settings.
From sealed transport to compliance checks on buyers, data security is an end-to-end process. To start with, incoming assets are counted and registered. IT specialists then assess whether the assets are suitable for reuse and allocate them to specific categories. The final step is the obligatory, ISO-certified data erasure, which is also carried out on assets destined for recycling.
“We guarantee ISO-certified data erasure. This is the main criterion for our customers when remarketing their equipment. In my experience, data security is the top priority.”
JAN-THORE JOHNSON, SENIOR TECHNICAL SALES AT CHG-MERIDIAN SKIEN
The international secondary market for used equipment, which CHG-MERIDIAN can access via certified partners and wholesalers, has grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for IT equipment increased manifold in the first half of 2020, in particular. “During the first lockdown, one customer requested 10,000 laptops and 20,000 monitors in one go, as their workforce had to work from home,” says Johnson. “Not all enquiries were of this magnitude, but overall they have increased our revenue by more than 50 percent year-on-year.”
Regardless of the pandemic, there is a growing trend towards working from home, putting pressure on companies to equip their employees with the devices to do so. With budgets often stretched at the moment, it makes sense for companies to consider reusing their existing equipment, which can be brought up to date by having the specialists at CHG-MERIDIAN refurbish it. This can free up funds to be used elsewhere.
“From the outset, CHG-MERIDIAN’s circular approach relies on seeing the full picture. We are supporting the transition to the circular economy by providing comprehensive strategic advice to ensure that procurement, operation, and end-of-lifecycle management are integrated in the best possible way. The customer can rest assured that we will look for the best solution with this in mind."