Material & Resource Use
EMC aims to meet the highest standards of environmental stewardship, maximize the economic value of returned products, and effectively manage risks associated with product end-of-life processes. Our global eWaste program offers product take back to all of our customers worldwide to help ensure those products are recycled or disposed of responsibly and in compliance with the law.
Design for Disassembly
A truly effective take back and eWaste program starts with product design. The easier a product is to disassemble, the easier it is to reclaim, recycle and dispose of in a responsible manner. This reduces waste and recaptures the value of recyclable and reusable materials.
Our standard design specifications include easy component recovery and improved disassembly procedures. EMC engineers work closely with IT asset disposal (ITAD) vendors to better understand how EMC’s products are broken down in the recycling process, and to identify opportunities to design for more efficient recycling and recovery.
Responsible Handling of Customer Returns
We accept returns of all EMC-branded products at the end of their useful life. Where appropriate, we recondition products for donation or internal deployment. All remaining products are disassembled and some subassemblies are re-manufactured and tested to new product standards so that subassemblies that pass the testing can be used again. Approximately one-quarter of returned material (by weight) is processed at our manufacturing facilities. The remainder is sent to our ITAD vendors who responsibly reclaim, recycle or resell the remaining material, sending less than three percent to waste-to-energy facilities or landfill. To protect customers’ information, disk drives are degaussed (magnetically erased) and/or physically shredded prior to recycling.
In 2011, Iomega®, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EMC, instituted a take back program for U.S. residents. This was done to help consumers ensure safe and responsible recycling and for Iomega to comply with expanding U.S. state regulations. To learn more, visit iomega.com/recycle
Global Alignment for Greater Efficiency
In 2011, we harmonized policies and practices across our business and geographies. Our internal Take Back and eWaste Governance Committee, which includes representatives from the Office of Sustainability, Global Product Operations, Environmental Health & Safety, Security, and the Office of the General Counsel organizations, oversees consistent implementation of our policies throughout the company.
In 2012, we will continue working to establish in-region eWaste handling to reduce GHG emissions from transportation of goods, and prepare for compliance with evolving international regulations. EMC is committed to developing recycling solutions that conform to our eWaste principles, regardless of location.
ITAD Vendor Selection, Auditing and Collaboration
In 2011, EMC launched a program for third-party audits of our ITAD vendors. Our goal is to have 80 percent of our ITAD vendors audited by a third party in 2012. These audits will complement existing EMC audits to verify security and regulatory compliance. EMC is committed to continued engagement with our ITAD vendors and downstream partners to collaborate on best practices.
Collaborating to Set Industry Standards and Create Innovative Solutions
Rigorous standards and metrics are essential for building effective global eWaste programs. EMC is actively engaged with The Green Grid to develop and promote consistent, industry-wide eWaste metrics that measure and account for responsible recycling and disposal.
In 2012, EMC will partner with the Environmental Defense Fund and Innocentive to crowd-source solutions to effectively track eWaste throughout the waste stream. Through this process, we hope to identify ideas to help responsibly manage waste, and plan to share key learnings with the industry.
EMC supports industry collaboration to balance the economic benefits to people in developing countries involved in the eWaste process, while also protecting human health and the environment. In 2012, we will partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management to explore alternative eWaste economic models to these goals.
For customers with additional questions, please contact your local customer service representative.
Product Take Back and eWaste Principles
We strive to be a responsible business where employees at all levels, in all functions, and in all geographies contribute to the realization of our vision by considering the full lifecycle of the products and processes with which they are engaged. We strive to follow the principles set forth below to ensure that environmental and societal impacts are incorporated into our decision-making.
We will comply with applicable laws and regulations and hold our vendors accountable for the same.
We exercise "designer's intent" by planning for optimized and responsible use of materials at every stage of the lifecycle. Our product and packaging design criteria incorporate:
- The principle of "reduction of waste at the source" by designing products and packaging to reduce the amount of waste generated at every point in the lifecycle.
- Leading practices for system disassembly to optimize material recovery.
- Substitution of material that is harmful to human health and the environment with substances that are functionally and economically equivalent while reducing environmental and human impact.
We work toward maximizing recovery of products that we have put on the market by:
- Providing all our customers and partners with a simple process for returning electronic scrap to EMC.
- Accepting non-EMC branded or distributed products for end-of-life handling when they are being replaced with EMC-branded products for at least one primary function of the original equipment, or at the discretion of the business.
Handling electronic scrap
We work toward:
- Maximizing reuse, reconditioning, and remanufacturing of functioning EMC equipment.
- Ensuring that organizations receiving used equipment from EMC will adhere to EMC's policies and principles.
- Maximizing recycling of raw materials from subassemblies that cannot be reused, reconditioned, or remanufactured.
- Safeguarding workers who handle obsolete equipment, including working to prevent the export of non-functioning, obsolete equipment from a developed country to a developing country.
- Preventing the use of prison or forced labor for processing electronic scrap.
- Avoiding delivery of solid waste, including eWaste, to landfill.
EMC will collaborate with industry, government, and non-governmental organizations to further the development of an objective, rigorous, and open standard for the handling of electronic scrap and eWaste.
We are committed to measuring, reporting, and continuously improving our performance.