4. Extending the life-cycle of digital equipment

The WEEE man sculpture at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Figure 2. The WEEE man sculpture.

Research findings differ but it seems fair to assume that at least half of the environmental footprint associated with IT equipment comes from the manufacturing, assembly, transportation, recycling and disposal phases of the life-cycle.

Innovation has lead to manufacturers using fewer parts, more sustainable materials, more efficient assembly plants, building devices that can be recycled more easily and disposed of more cleanly, but there is still a significant gain to be made by reducing our demand for new digital equipment.

One way to achieve this is by repairing devices rather then buying new. OUCS provides the Computer Hardware Breakdown Service and Hardware Repair and Upgrade services as cost-effective ways to fix computers rather than throw them away.

Like other units OUCS also recycles and donates computers it can no longer make use of.

IT Waste management is regulated through the WEEE Directive and accounted for under scope 3 emissions reporting.

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