A Business Guide to Sustainable IT Management

October 23, 2023

In the world of business where innovation and profit often take center stage, there is an emerging focus on a different kind of performance metric – sustainability.

Forward-thinking leaders now understand that long-term success is intertwined with responsible environmental practices. Many of the business decisions you make today will impact your local environment, your employees and consumers, and the global environment over time.

One area that might be overlooked is sustainable IT management . E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Even if your business is not using large amounts of electronics, developing a comprehensive strategy for the lifecycle of any hardware within your business can reward you in both the short and long term.

In this post, we review the crucial steps business leaders can take to develop that strategy.

Asset Tracking

Maintain a comprehensive inventory of IT assets to track their lifespan. This helps in not only understanding where your assets are, but also reduces overall costs by maximizing each piece of equipment.

Understanding the average time your assets last and their regular maintenance schedule will also help you make informed decisions when it’s time to purchase anything new.

If your business uses ServiceNow, you’ll want to check out the ReturnCenter app.

Equipment Maintenance, Refurbishment, and Reuse

Keeping your equipment in good condition will ensure that it retains value and will save you from having to replace it sooner than necessary.

Fix things when they break and maintain equipment so that it doesn’t end up in a closet, destined for a landfill. When the time comes to retire it, you will have more options if it is in good working condition.

Plus, you can explore opportunities to refurbish and extend the life of functional IT equipment. This can involve upgrading components or repurposing devices for other departments within the organization.

Lease Return Management

If your business leases equipment, missing return deadlines not only incurs fees, but also lowers the chance that that equipment can be refurbished and reused.

Set up a schedule with reminders to ensure your leased equipment is returned to your leasing company on time and damage free so that they can properly refurbish or reuse it. ReturnCenter can help with that.

Choose a Recycling Partner

Partner with certified e-waste recycling companies to ensure responsible disposal and recycling of old equipment. Select a certified IT asset disposition (ITAD) partner that follows strict environmental and data security standards. Ensure they have robust processes in place for responsible e-waste recycling, data destruction, and asset recovery. Not sure where to start? ReturnCenter can introduce you to certified ITAD companies, ask us.

Define Sustainability Objectives

Equipped with a panoramic understanding of your IT landscape, it’s time to define clear-cut sustainability objectives that align with your overall business strategy.

These objectives may encompass all or just some of what we’ve outlined above. Remember, each business possesses unique characteristics, so tailor your goals to suit your specific needs and priorities.

There are additional initiatives you’ll likely need to consider in regard to sustainability including but not limited to: supply chain, efficient resource management, and other industry specific regulations.

Engage Stakeholders and Employees

Building a culture of sustainability requires engaging stakeholders and employees at all levels. Foster awareness and education by conducting training sessions or workshops, and set up regular communication channels.

Establish a process and standards for electronic devices that are no longer in use. Educate employees about the environmental impact of e-waste and ensure they know your policy on responsible usage and disposal of electronics.

Encourage employees to contribute their ideas and suggestions; they become valuable catalysts for innovation and collective action.

Monitoring, Reporting, and Improving IT Management

To ensure continuous progress, establish a robust monitoring and reporting system for tracking key sustainability metrics. Regularly evaluate performance, identify areas for improvement, and celebrate successes. Through a cycle of refinement, you and your team can achieve greater efficiency, reduce costs, and make a substantial positive impact on the environment.

Business leaders hold immense power in shaping a sustainable future, where technology and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. By incorporating more sustainable practices into hardware lifecycle strategies, organizations can embark on a transformative journey towards long-term success.


At ReturnCenter, our unwavering commitment lies in offering carbon-neutral services seamlessly across all aspects of our business. We’ve moved over two billion pounds of equipment through a circular economy.

We also offer companies our box program which includes all the services that make it easy for you to recover, recycle, or return IT equipment in any US zip code. This service includes professional-grade boxes and shipping kits, fulfillment, and carbon neutral shipping.

We recognize the importance of IT sustainability. Reach out to us for guidance on sustainable net-zero IT logistics, reducing e-waste, finding sustainable partners, or implementing broader sustainability practices.

Together, we can build a brighter future for generations to come. Get in touch.